There are many other types of portable air compressors, but they are all covered by 12-volt, household or small air compressors.
The portable compressor is driven by a large diesel engine. The size of the engine and compressor depends on the required air flow and air pressure. Portable air compressors can usually provide a pressure of 7 to 12 bar.
The amount of air (air flow) they can generate per minute varies by type.
What size compressor you need depends on the pneumatic tool you use.
Do they need a lot of air, do they need high pressure?
In construction and general use, most pneumatic tools require a pressure of about 7 bar, but the air flow varies greatly.
Who uses portable compressors?
Portable air compressors are used to provide compressed air on construction sites, on road projects, or when people who are not suitable for using stationary compressors need compressed air.
They are also used as (emergency) backup compressors in factories, for example when their stationary compressors need maintenance or stop working. They are powered by diesel engines and therefore do not require electricity.
Portable air compressors need to be robust, sturdy and reliable. They are usually used in dusty environments, so high-quality air filters are necessary.
They need to work under various conditions, such as very cold weather or high altitude (for example, compressed air is used for skiing and snowmaking), but they must also work in dusty, hot environments or very humid conditions.
The above requirements apply to compressor components and diesel engines. The diesel engine must be robust and reliable.
The worst case that can happen is that your compressor does not work properly anywhere and gets stuck without compressed air.
In almost all cases, the compressor is of the rotary screw type. It can be oil-filled or oil-free, although oil-free compressors are very expensive and can only be used for special applications (for example, large Atlas Copco oil-free portable compressors can only be rented, not purchased (in Europe, the smallest).
Therefore, 99% of portable compressors are oil-injected single-stage rotary screw compressors. They work in almost the same way as stationary electric screw compressors. Although there are some subtle differences, especially in the control system.
Diesel engines are used to drive portable air compressors. They are rugged, reliable, and can run for hours or weeks at a time.
The engine is either directly coupled to the compressor element or connected to pulleys and belts. Just like in a car, the engine uses a starter motor to start, so the portable compressor also has a battery.
Operation and control system
The engine has (minimum requirements) safety measures for low oil pressure and/or oil level and excessive temperature. The speed of the engine is controlled by the compressor control system.
In most cases, this is a fairly simple control system (full pneumatic, minimal electronic equipment). Especially compared to stationary compressors, today’s stationary compressors have control panels with sophisticated microcontrollers and many settings and options.
Not a portable compressor... It basically has a start/stop button, sometimes a load/unload button, no indicator light and an hour counter.
Portable air compressors have many different options and additional functions. The basic options of portable air compressors include:
-After cooling (cooling compressed air)
-Moisture collector, filter for dust, oil, water or smoke (depending on the required compressed air quality)
-Reheat (heat the cooled air to prevent moisture problems)
-Different towbar designs (depending on your car/truck)
-Heavy-duty compressor air intake filter (for dusty environments).
-Cold start (for operation in cold areas)
–Inlet stop valve
If a portable air compressor is used in an explosive or flammable environment, install a spark plug on the exhaust pipe to prevent any sparks from flying out and catching fire. The law may require their use in certain places on the planet (for example, especially in forests or in chemical/refineries).
When portable air compressors are used in environments where chemicals or flammable gases may be present in the air (for example, in oil refineries or chemical plants), the air intake shutoff valve is required.
Diesel engines may inhale flammable gases. The gas will ignite in the diesel engine and cannot be stopped. Otherwise it may "go crazy" and start running faster and faster. Therefore, a shut-off valve is installed in the air supply (behind the air filter). In this case, it will shut off the air supply.
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