In the modern world, air compressors are common and essential machines for operations in many factories and workshops. Innovations over the years have made air compressors compact and less bulky than they were before. Smaller compressors now pack more power. They are highly versatile which makes them a favorite power source in many operations.
So how do they work? Air compressors work by forcing air through a chamber into a container and pressurizing it. Typically, the air compressors have an electric or gas motor, a pump, inlet and outlet valves and a tank for storage of the air. However, not all air compressors have a storage tank.
There are different types of air compressors based on their mode of operation. They can either be positive displacement or dynamic displacement air compressors. Positive displacement air compressors are the most common. Here, air is drawn into a chamber where its volume is reduced to compress it. The air is them passed on to the storage tank for later use. Rotary screw air compressors and reciprocating air compressors (both single and two stage) use this method of operation.
The dynamic displacement air compressors use rotating blades to draw air into the chamber. The kinetic energy generated from the motion of the blades builds up air pressure and is stored within the compressor. These air compressors are used of large projects in factories since they generate large volumes of air quickly. They can either be axial or centrifugal air compressors.
The air compressed by an air compressor can then be used for energy as it is released from the tank.