GENERAL QUESTIONS:

1. What is an air compressor?

To put it simply, an air compressor is a machine that converts one form of energy into another by inducing air at atmospheric pressure, reducing the available volume, in turn compressing the air to a higher pressure in order to release stored energy that can then be used for a variety of applications including; powering air tools, pneumatics, manufacturing processes, plastic production, painting, etc. Typically, air compressors are used by most industries including manufacturing, services, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, power generation, mining and for general industrial purposes. Compressed air is regarded by industry as a safe and convenient form of energy.

2. What is a reciprocating air compressor?

To put it simply, an air compressor is a machine that converts one form of energy into another by inducing air at atmospheric pressure, reducing the available volume, in turn compressing the air to a higher pressure in order to release stored energy that can then be used for a variety of applications including; powering air tools, pneumatics, manufacturing processes, plastic production, painting, etc. Typically, air compressors are used by most industries including manufacturing, services, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, power generation, mining and for general industrial purposes. Compressed air is regarded by industry as a safe and convenient form of energy.

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3. What is a rotary screw air compressor?

Rotary screw air compressors are positive displacement machines which utilise intermeshing rotors to capture air at atmospheric pressure which is then boosted to a higher pressure by reducing the available volume. Often oil is introduced in the compression process to seal the rotors, lubricate bearings and to remove the heat of compression. These compressors are generally used in applications where a constant demand for compressed air is required.

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4. Reciprocating or Rotary Screw air compressors?

If you are confused of choosing whether Reciprocating or Rotary Screw air compressors are best suited for you, then consider your application and how compressed air is used. Generally, Reciprocating air compressors are cheaper; however, they are not suitable for continuous duty, as overheating issues may arise. On the other hand, Rotary Screw air compressors are designed to perform at peak efficiency when demand is high and continuous.

AIR COMPRESSOR TROUBLESHOOTING QUESTIONS:

1. Air Compressor will not start?

Check power supply to compressor.  If power is available the compressor may have tripped on a safety device. Check control panel display for error messages or fault codes. If the fault can be rectified and readily cleared restart the compressor.

Call Southern Cross Service Department on 1300 098 301 to obtain further advice or to book a service technician.

2. Air Compressor shuts down on high-temperature?

If your compressor overheats and trips, the following could be the cause of the problem:

  • Low Oil Level
  • Incorrect oil used
  • Clogged or dirty oil cooler
  • Thermostatic valve not functioning correctly
  • Insufficient cooling air flow
  • Cooling fan failed

Call Southern Cross Service Department on 1300 098 301 to obtain further advice or to book a service technician.

3. Air Compressor runs but will not load?

If the following problem were to occur, check the following:

  • Electrical Power to load solenoid valve
  • Solenoid Valve coil and solenoid valve operation problem
  • Inlet or loading valve not functioning properly
  • Broken control line
  • No load signal from control panel

Call Southern Cross Service Department on 1300 098 301 to obtain further advice or to book a service technician.

4. Air Compressor not keeping up / insufficient pressure?

Check compressed air reticulation system, compressor or plant machinery for any air leaks. If there are no system air leaks and the air compressor has been sized correctly; check the following:

  • Inlet valve is fully opening
  • Intake filter is clean
  • System valves fully open
  • Review additional demands such as new processes, tools or equipment

Call Southern Cross Service Department on 1300 098 301 to obtain further advice or to book a service technician.

5. Air Receiver Safety valve lifts / pressure too high

Possible causes:

  • Pressure switch or transducer incorrectly set or not functioning correctly.
  • Air / oil separator differential pressure too high.
  • Intake throttle not functioning correctly.
  • Overpressure shutdown setting incorrect.
  • Incorrectly set pressure safety valve

Call Southern Cross Service Department on 1300 098 301 to obtain further advice or to book a service technician.

6. What happens if an overload were to happen on Rotary Screw Air Compressor?
If the compressor thermal overload trips due to excessive amps draw, immediately isolate the compressor mechanically and electrically and then Call Southern Cross Service Department on 1300 098 301 to obtain further advice or to book a service technician.

7. Oil is present in Rotary Screw Air Compressor?

Having oil present in a compressed reticulation system is generally not desirable and can be the result of a number of common problems including:

  • Oil separator blocked or saturated
  • Purge line blocked and not syphoning
  • Incorrectly set up purge line.
  • Compressor operating at elevated temperature
  • Excessive oil in oil reservoir (over filled).
  • Incorrect type of oil used
  • Minimum pressure valve not functioning correctly.
  • Poorly maintained or non existing coalescing line filters.

Call Southern Cross Service Department on 1300 098 301 to obtain further advice or to book a service technician.

8. Water present in compressed air?

Water vapour is a naturally occurring component of the air which is induced into any compressor. As the air is compressed, the water can no longer stay suspended as vapour, some of the water will condense into liquid. (A little like squeezing a sponge). However, the compression process generates a lot of heat which helps keep the moisture in suspension. As the compressed vapour travels through the reticulation system it cools resulting in more of water condensing into liquid. This condensate can have the effect of damaging product and equipment. In most instances it is desirable to remove the water before it enters the reticulation system. Water in the reticulation system can be the result of a number of common problems including:

  • Poorly functioning or non existent aftercooler.
  • Blocked aftercooler fins or tubes.
  • Poorly functioning or non existent refrigerated (or desiccant) air dryer.
  • Incorrectly sized refrigerated dryer.
  • Condensate drains blocked or not functioning.
  • Compressor operating at elevated temperature.
  • High ambient temperature.
  • Dryer inlet air temperature too high.

9. Compressor is rapidly loading and unloading

Virtually all compressors require the addition of a pressure vessel to control the frequency of load / unload or stop / start cycles.  The air receiver is a fundamental component of the system reducing energy usage as well as wear and tear on the compressor control system, drive motor and airend. The air receiver also operates as a valuable condensate removal system. It is critical that the air receiver be sized correctly for both the volume flow rate of the compressor and the required system pressure.

Some reasons why compressors load and unload rapidly:

  • Vessel incorrectly sized for the system.
  • Incorrect control system setup.
  • Restriction in air line between compressor and air receiver.
  • Vessel partially full of condensate due to lack of drainage.
  • Automatic or manual drain not functioning correctly.