The air compressor capacity required will be determined by the number of people using air tools at the same time, the frequency of use and the type of air tools being used. A simple guide is to take the air tools that require the most volume of air and multiply these by the number of people who could be using air tools at the same time. The frequency of use is an important factor, if the air tools are to be used continuously then a compressor should be oversized in order to prevent excessive wear on the air compressor. In applications where the air compressor is used infrequently then the air receiver is a valuable buffer of stored compressed air. By fittinga larger air receiver a slightly smaller air compressor can be used in applications where infrequent use is anticipated. The larger air receiver will compromise portability however, and this should be considered.
All of the air tools or accessories that are used will require both a certain pressure of air as well as a certain volume of air to be supplied. Whilst most compressors will provide ample pressure, what differentiates a smaller air compressor from a large one is the volume of air that is produced measured in litres/min, cu metres/min or cu feet/min (cfm) and the amount of air produced will be determined by the power of the electric motor and the type of air compressor fitted.
So in brief the main points to consider when selecting a air compressor are:
- Power supply available.
- What level of portability is required.
- What Air Tools or accessories are to be used and how many people will be using them?
- What will be the frequency of use? Intermittent or continuous?
- Plans for future use.