KAESER Know How blog post
KAESER Know How Blog

In this blog we look at 3 top tips for planning optimal compressed air station ventilation.

Optimal compressed air station ventilation
KAESER Know How Blog

In this blog we look at 3 top tips for planning optimal compressed air station ventilation.

Optimal compressed air station ventilation

3 tips for planning optimal compressed air station ventilation

Minimise your compressor maintenance costs with the right ventilation

KAESER Know How blog post: 3 tips for planning optimal compressed air station ventilation

April 2016

Ensuring appropriate compressor system ventilation will not only enhance compressed air availability but it will also assist in minimising maintenance costs. In this blog we look at 3 top tips for planning optimal compressed air station ventilation;

  1. Location, location, location; make sure you select the correct ventilation openings
    In order to ensure the effective ventilation of a compressor system, the actual location of ventilation openings is very important. For optimum system reliability, air which is drawn in from outside should be affected as little as possible by the weather. It is therefore prudent to install weather protected ventilation openings in the lower half of the installation location's external wall. And, ideally this should not directly face the sun.

  2. Clean house; protect the system from dust and contamination
    The compressor system should be protected as much as possible from dust and contamination, including; all aggressive and flammable materials as well as emissions from combustion engines. Emissions from heavy vehicles and trucks in particular, should not be allowed to enter the air intake zone of the compressor system. Using cooling air filters will be able to alleviate moderate levels of dust and contamination. In extreme cases, so called 'dust traps' can be used.

  3. Go with the flow; correctly size and equip the ventilation openings
    The power of the air-cooled compressors that are installed will impact the size that the ventilation openings should be. As a rule of thumb the 'free diameter' of a ventilation opening should be between 0.02 and 0.03 m2 for every kW of a compressor's rated power. This is equivalent to a cooling air volume of 130 to 230 m3/h. It is important to pay heed to the term 'free diameter'. The diameter of the ventilation opening will be considerably reduced by weather protection screens, louvres and - in dusty environments - filters. The diameter will be reduced by 30% to 60% depending on the quality of the selected ventilation system. It is therefore advisable to use flow-optimised ventilation systems. Whatever the case, consideration should always be made for reductions in diameter created by protection and control devices. A ventilation system normally includes; a bird protection screen, a flow adjustment flap and - if required - ventilation filters. For compressed air systems with multiple compressors, it is also advisable to install a thermostatically controlled ventilation system and to divide the openings according to the position and power of the individual compressor units. 

Water-cooled compressors are normally powered by air-cooled motors, which radiate heat. As a result water-cooled compressors also require adequate ventilation. Approximately 20% of the power of a water-cooled compressor is converted into heat. This needs to be removed by the cooling air. Appropriately dimensioned ventilation openings should therefore be installed accordingly. 

References:
Compressed Air Engineering; Basic Principles, tips and suggestions, KAESER Compressors Australia Pty Ltd

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