Compressors are vital utilities in most industrial facilities. They are used to increase the pressure of fluids or gasses for other industrial processes or storage. There are several different types of compressors for industrial applications, but their fundamental principles are roughly the same. They take a low-pressure gas from the intake, compress it in the compression chamber, then output the high-pressure gas through the outlet system.
Industrial compressors generally feature five main components; The compression chamber, the driver, the control system, the inlet system, and the outlet system. Compressors are powerful mechanical machines that operate within narrow tolerances. They can also be dangerous if not handled correctly. All five components must be in the green before compression begins.
The Inlet and Outlet Systems
The inlet and outlet systems comprise of reservoir tanks, and a host of plumbing features including pipes, hydraulic seals, valves, and taps. Every component has to be thoroughly examined to prevent leaks and ensure that the gas follows the defined path to and from the compressor.
The Compressor Chamber
The compression chamber is where the compression takes place. The rotors or pistons in the chamber, in most cases, need lubrication and cooling. The chamber is also checked for leaks and whether its walls can handle the immense pressure generated within.
The driver provides mechanical power to the compressor. Most industrial compressors use AC induction motors as the driver. The motor is checked for coolant and lubrication. The motor’s power supply and controls are also calibrated to deliver the required power.
The compressor control system provides an interface between the operator and the machine. Manual controls have mostly been replaced with computerized digital controls, but they still need to be checked. The operator configures the operational parameters of the compressor and makes preliminary settings using the control system before starting the compressor.
Like with many robust industrial machines, a compressor requires careful preliminary checks before any operations can be set off. These inspections aim at minimizing risks by ensuring a safe work environment for both the compressor and the operators.