Ask the Expert: What should I think about when selecting a new air compressor?

Compressor equipment is more efficient and powerful than ever before, so if sized correctly for the application, a compressor can produce the same overall power with less horsepower.

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Question: What should I think about when selecting a new air compressor?

Answer: 

It’s a general misconception that automotive shops need more horsepower for more compressed air output. The airflow requirement is actually the primary measure of a shop’s compressed air needs.

Compressor equipment is more efficient and powerful than ever before, so if sized correctly for the application, a compressor can produce the same overall power with less horsepower. 

For example, the Ingersoll Rand Next Generation R-Series RS 11-22kW compressors range from 15-30 horsepower and produce 18 percent more airflow compared to previous Ingersoll Rand compressors of this capacity.

The first step to sizing up an air compressor is to analyze the shop’s usage profile, or flow requirements, which is calculated in cubic feet per minute (CFM). To calculate flow requirements, add up how often technicians use air tools and how long they use the tools at maximum power. Once a shop owner calculates the flow requirements, they can select a compressor that meets the CFM, or flow requirement, needs. 

Alternatively, shop owners can utilize programs like the Ingersoll Rand Performance Services which calculate their energy consumption and flow requirements to develop a “load profile.” The service monitors and evaluates variable events throughout the workday. Based on the assessment, an Ingersoll Rand compressor expert recommends modifications based on current air consumption requirements. 

Information provided by Ingersoll Rand 


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