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  • Compressed air pressure drop

    I am not sure what the problem is in my system - but can anyone help with some pointers as to why I keep experiencing pressure drop in my compressed air system?

  • #2
    That is a very common question that many people have been scratching their heads over for years, and you may not know it but the pressure drop could be costing you extra on your electricity bill. When the pressure drops below critical levels in a compressed air system it can cause a lot of production problems because machines that use the compressed air stop working, or worse, produce faulty product. There are two main reasons for excessive pressure drop:
    • Component restriction – With this problem the pressure at the air compressor will be adequate but the level downstream will be low. This is usually caused by undersized or poorly maintained components like undersized dryers, clogged filters, pipes, hoses that are too small and inefficient connectors. These can be in the compressed air distribution system or even right inside the production machine itself. Most often the designer of the system has undersized the components to cut costs without attention to peak flows caused by intermittent high flow events, like actuators moving etc. The result; poor pressure when you need it most. The solution, properly design and maintain your components for low pressure differential,
    • Poor compressor control – Sometimes the cause of low pressure is the compressor itself, perhaps it is overloaded and cannot produce as much air as the plant needs. This causes pressure to fall. Sometimes with systems with multiple compressors the units are not controlled correctly, resulting in low pressure because of incorrect pressure settings. Having a knowledgeable service provider test and set up your system can sometimes help. Also the addition of storage receiver capacity can stabilize the pressure.

    Both of these conditions can cost you extra money because most people simply jack up the pressure to compensate. This higher pressure causes the system to consume more air and the compressor to consume an artificially high quantity of energy.

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    • #3
      In general, your problems can be solved by troubleshooting the areas RonMarshall mentioned above, about
      • Component restriction, upstream the point where pressure is too low....
      It sounds, since you use the term "pressure drop", that the supply pressure level at the pressure source is OK? That should be at the accumulator tank output pressure.....

      What kind of air system is this? Is this a small shop system for air-blowing-cleaning and small rotating air tools? Or big truck&heavy equipment tire shop?
      Or is it about running actuators in an "automated" production system?

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