By: Wayne Perry
Have you ever walked into a compressor room and been immediately struck by its appearance? Its beauty? Its cleanliness?
No? We’ll be the first to admit it’s not a common occurrence. Compressor rooms are often dirty, noisy, and hot.
Remember this compressor room? In this case chemicals in the air were eating their way through everything in the room. At this location the solution was to place the compressors outside in a dedicated enclosure. OK, usually they are not this bad, but something in between this crime scene and the squeaky clean room at the top is the norm.
A customer contacted us recently regarding the compressed air system at a cement plant. The environment at cement plants (and mines) is notoriously terrible when it comes to ambient dust and debris fouling coolers and getting inside enclosures. As in the previous case, placing the entire compressed air system outside in an enclosure is a viable solution.
This customer told us he didn’t like compressors with sound enclosures because his experience has been that the casing fans fail and the doors get in the way. Enclosures are not only there to reduce sound levels; they direct air flow through the enclosure in a deliberately engineered way to cool the things that need to stay cool and keep the temperature up on things (like the separator tank) that need to stay warm. And if, as in this installation, the compressor is placed where a couple of inches of dust can fall on the machine, a cabinet will do a good job of keeping that dust off of compressor components. These are reasons why very few industrial compressors are sold without enclosures these days.
Proper ventilation and ducting will also help you keep your compressor room cleaner and cooler. Your compressor equipment manufacturer can provide the needed information for a mechanical/ HVAC contractor to design ductwork and ventilation that will further enhance reliability, cleanliness, and make it quiet.