Do you know the differences of piston, rotary screw, and rotary vane compressors? Can you pick out the best piping for your compressed air system? Can you correctly problem solve common problems automotive shops face with their compressed air system? We have six quick questions to test your compressed air system knowledge.

Test your knowledge for a chance to win a Kaeser Compressors branded jacket, shirt, and a $50 Amazon gift card. Complete the registration on the last page to see your results against other readers and qualify to be entered into the drawing.

The winner will be randomly selected from correct entries and awarded a Kaeser Jacket, t-shirt, cap and a $50 Amazon gift card. Entries must be received by the end of April to be eligible. Only one winner will be selected. Chances of winning are dependent upon the number of correct entries received. Employees of Babcox, industry manufacturers and Babcox Media advertisers are not eligible to enter.

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1. What kind of compressor has a 100% duty cycle?






Answer: Rotary vane and rotary screw compressors. Duty cycle is the percentage of time a compressor can operate without the risk of overheating and causing excessive wear to the compressor. Most small piston compressors have an allowable duty cycle of 60-70%. For this reason, piston compressors are usually oversized to allow the compressor to periodically shut down and cool off. Rotary screw compressors and rotary vane compressors have a 100% duty cycle.

2. Which type of compressor operates at higher internal temperatures?






Answer: Piston compressors. Piston compressors operate at internal temperatures of 300°F to 400°F while a rotary screw and vane compressors run at much lower internal temperatures (between 170°F and 200°F). Just as hot summer air holds more humidity, hotter compressed air can hold more moisture and requires additional components to dry and clean it.

3. What type of piping is recommended for clean, dry air systems?







Answer: Copper or Aluminum are your best choice for no rust, good air quality piping. Both options have a smooth interior for high flows and low pressure drop. Black Iron and galvanized are rough inside and will accumulate debris inside, which reduces flow and creates a pressure drop. They are also slower to install and harder to modify. PVC has been known to shatter and is not compliant with code in many locations.

4. You are having problems getting enough pressure at points of use. What is the best solution to fix this problem?








Answer: All but (c) — Check for leaks, do a pump up test to confirm how much air is actually being made, consider adding a tank for additional storage where the problem is, confirm the pipe is clear and is big enough for the flow—are all appropriate ways to troubleshoot low pressure before concluding that more flow (i.e. a new compressor) is needed.

5. If you have 5 technicians each using 15 cfm tools at 90 psig, what size compressor should you have?







Answer: 20 hp is the best answer listed but there are many factors other than the number of technicians and flow/pressure requirements that you should consider when sizing your compressed air system. You should double check you are operating at the correct pressure and not over-pressurizing the system mistakenly trying to get more flow. Also, determine the demand needed throughout the day. Often, not every work station is using the largest air consumer at the same time – look at the percentage of time each tool is used as well as the flow required by the largest air consumer at the station. Lastly, consider the recommended duty cycle of your compressor and the CFM delivered. Duty cycle is the percentage of time a compressor can operate without the risk of overheating and causing excessive wear to the compressor.

6. In the summer, the compressor runs hotter and there is more moisture in the compressed air that comes out at the point of use. What are some solutions?






Answer: Adding a dryer to your compressed air system will help you remove the added moisture. In the summer months, there is more humidity in the intake air as well as the air is hotter which makes it harder to remove the moisture. If you have a dryer on your compressed air system already, make sure it has refrigerant and the condenser is clean. Adding or maintaining the drain on your tank and making sure the compressor room is well ventilated will also help your compressor run more smoothly in the hot summer months.

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Complete the registration form to see your results against other readers and qualify to be entered into the drawing for a chance to win a Kaeser Compressors branded jacket, shirt, and a $50 Amazon gift card.

The winner will be randomly selected from correct entries. Entries must be received by the end of April to be eligible. Only one winner will be selected. Chances of winning are dependent upon the number of correct entries received. Employees of Babcox, industry manufacturers and Babcox Media advertisers are not eligible to enter.