The Best Controls For Reciprocating Air Compressors

If a reciprocating compressor is selected, there are some special features that should be considered. For any compressor that is going to automatically cycle on and off, further consideration should be given to the number of motor starts that may occur every hour.

In compressors of this size range, the number of starts per hour should not exceed 6 to 8. Excessive motor starts may cause extra stress and over-heating of the motor, which may result in reduced life expectancy or premature failure. This can be controlled in a few different ways.

The first way is to ensure that a suitable volume of air is stored when the compressor shuts down to allow it to be off for a reasonable period of time. The air storage will be determined by two factors – the differential pressure between the start and stop of the compressor, and the size of the air

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Considerations for Selecting the Right Air Compressor

When selecting the air compressor that is right for your application, there are a number of issues which should be considered. The basic considerations will be as follows:
  1. What pressure do I need for the optimum performance of the equipment or processes that I am using the air for?
  2. What size air compressor do I require?
  3. What type of compressor should I install – reciprocating, rotary screw, rotary vane or rotary scroll?
  4. Should my compressor be lubricated or oil-less/oil-free?
  5. Will the compressor be in an area where noise may affect personnel working in the area? If so, what options do I have for either noise attenuation of the air compressor, or installing it in an area which is remote from personnel?
  6. Should the compressor be air-cooled or water-cooled?
  7. What electrical power is available to operate the compressor?
  8. How much piping, and what size and type will be required to distribute
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A Message to Our Customers – Sprinkler Air Compressors

In our efforts to continually improve, Air Power Products Limited wish to make our sprinkler system customers aware of pitfalls when sizing sprinkler system air compressors. One main focus for our air compressors, or any others for that matter, is to ensure that the compressor does not cycle on and off too frequently. Excessive motor starts will result in motor fatigue and premature failure. For sprinkler compressors, we recommend the following as the maximum number of starts per hour:
  • ½ HP motors = 14 starts per hour
  • 1 to 5 HP motors = 10 starts per hour

This is especially critical for single phase motors. The number of starts per hour will of course be determined by the amount of leakage in the sprinkler system. For older systems with substantial leakage, these numbers could easily be exceeded. One of the few controls the designer has to reduce motor starts,

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