The compressing of air, whether using a reciprocating, screw type, a vane, or even a diaphragm air compressor, generates heat.
Colder winter time air entering a compressor intake helps reduce that compressor generated heat.
As summer advances air temperatures can soar into the 100+ degree range. The compressor is now ingesting hotter, more humid air, increasing heat production and hampering any on-compressor cooling systems.
Electric motors on compressors convert electrical energy to heat as well. According to the publication Plant Services (www.plantservices.com), 100 HP of compressor motor generates more than 250,000 BTU at full load. That is PER HOUR and enough to heat a large swimming pool. Unchecked, that heat can create problems for the compressor and any cooling systems.
As heat rises it destroys the viscosity of lubricating fluids. "The lifecycle of the lubricant is cut in half for every 10°C increase in temperature" according to MachineLubrication.com. The heat generated can cause degrading of the oil and may result in metal-to-metal contact and greater wear. Consider changing all the compressor fluids before the heat arrives.
Check that the flow of any other fluids circulating throughout the compressor and cooling equipment is unrestricted.
If the air compressor room is hot, can the compressor room be cooled by improving ventilation? That can be accomplished by simply by opening compressor room doors and result in a cooler running machine.
Or, a vent installed near the floor on one side of the compressor room will allow cooler, floor level air in. Make this vent size as big as practical. Add another vent, preferably one powered by an exhaust fan, near the ceiling on the other side of the compressor room. This will pull cooler air through the compressor room and take some of the compressor generated heat out with it.
As temperatures rise, help reduce compressor air intake restriction by cleaning or changing the intake filter. A dirty compressor air intake filter will drive up the compressor operating temperature. Check and replace any other filters on the compressor or dryer as well.
If they are present, clean any radiators to ensure unrestricted air flow to maximize heat transfer.
Hot air contains more water vapor than cooler air. As a result, the air compressor will generate more water in the summer. Ensure all the water drains and systems are working well to make water removal as efficient as possible.
An air compressor that is not prepared for summers more difficult operating conditions will cost more to operate during those hotter months and may experience greater maintenance issues. Time spent preparing the air compressor for summer may be amply returned should that preparation help prevent a sudden compressor break down and halt plant operations while air compressor repairs are made.
Ensure that your air compressor is ready to tackle summertime conditions. Contact us at https://www.airengineering.com for assistance.