An overview of portable air compressors

As specialists in the compressed air industry, we understand portable air compressors – inside-out! This useful overview gives you the basics to choose the best possible portable air compressor options for your business.

Where are portable air compressors used?

Compressors are seen on sites of all kinds. From construction sites, to road works to factory floors, and anywhere a stationary compressor is not suitable. These tough machines form the backbone of your business, and supply air to all your heavy tools.

Many industries find portable air compressors useful when machinery breaks down, is under maintenance, or simply kept on hand as a backup for critical industrial sites.

Powered by diesel, built for tough conditions

Portable air compressors are driven by a diesel engine, and don’t need electricity.

They also need to be reliable, hardworking, and tougher than tough. They must withstand a dusty environment, so using a high quality portable compressor is essential.

Your working conditions may vary; very cold weather, at high altitude, dusty, hot, or wet conditions. So both the air compressor and its diesel engine must be up to the challenge. If you’re facing an unexpected delay due to extreme conditions, or are out on site in the middle of nowhere, it may be wise to consider hiring a backup air compressor.

The amount of air that portable air compressors produce depends on the size of the engine and the compressor; normally they deliver between 7 to 40 bar of pressure, and 70 to 1600cfm of flow. Many air tools in construction and general use require only 7 bar, but the airflow depends on the job at hand.

So when selecting the right portable air compressor, consider whether you need a lot of air, high pressure or even both!

The 2 parts of a portable air compressor are:

1. The Compressor

Majority of portable air compressors are an oil-injected, single stage, rotary screw type. They work virtually in the same way as a stationary electric compressor.

2. The Engine

A diesel engine is the grunt behind the portable air compressors. Strong and sturdy, they can run for hours and even weeks of hard labour. The diesel engine is either directly coupled to the compressor element, or connected via belt and pulleys.

Options on portable air compressors

Different options and extras can give you a whole lot of flexibility within the one unit. These can include:

  • After cooler
  • Moisture traps, filters for dust, oil, water, or fumes
  • Different tow bar designs to fit your car or truck
  • Heavy-duty air filters for dusty environments
  • Cold start for very cold environments
  • Spark arrestor
  • Intake shut-off valve
  • Fire Suppression Systems
  • Breathing Air Certification

When site safety is key

Understanding the safety of your different working conditions – whether cold, hot, or dusty, will help you decide which optional extras will work for you.

If the compressor is used in explosive or flammable environments, a spark arrestor is fitted to the exhaust pipe to prevent sparks from causing a fire. These are mandatory on some sites, for example chemical or oil refineries.

Additionally, if the air compressor’s diesel engine draws in flammables gases, the gases may ignite inside and make it run fast. A shut off valve can be fitted just behind the air filter to shut off the air supply in this event.

Maintenance and parts for your portable air compressor

Keeping your portable air compressor maintained and running smoothly is vital. Particularly in remote workplaces, smart project managers will always keep spare parts on hand and in stock; air filters, maintenance kits and fittings will keep calamity at bay.

And always keep the number of a 24/7 Emergency Service Technician on hand, our number is 1800 247 769, for when you really need it!

Buying a portable air compressor

If you’re ready to invest in a state-of-the-art air compressor for your site, do your research first. Stay informed and make the right decision with Air Powered, your compressed air specialist!

Hiring a portable air compressor

Not looking to purchase a portable air compressor? No worries, Air Powered have a large and modern hire fleet full of portable air compressors to suit a variety of projects.

From hiring to buying, if you’re looking for the right compressed air solution, call 1800 247 769 at Air Powered.