Believe it or not, summertime is right around the corner! Just like your air conditioning unit, air compressors require regular cleaning and maintenance. This means that aside from hitting the beach and soaking up the sun, it’s also time to start preparing your facility for the summer temperatures. We often think about outfitting our facilities for colder months, but it’s just as important to consider compressor maintenance before the summer heat officially sets in. With hotter and more humid weather on the way, compressor loads can easily reach peak levels and cause energy consumption to rise.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! We recommend starting with what we call the three R’s: Review, Repair, and Renew.
Review. From condensation to overheating, your air compressor system is going to start working harder than ever to produce the same amount of compressed air it has been previously. That’s why reviewing your compressor performance and compressor installation is vital to ensuring your compressor continues to perform efficiently and effectively during the entire summer season. Things to review include:
Draw a System Diagram – complete with all components, storage, and points of use.
Energy Recovery – explore possibilities for space heating, process heating and water heating.
Compressed Air Audit – review the last one you had completed; did you accomplish all the suggested improvements?
Maintenance Logs – Are you caught up on maintenance tasks? Are there any outstanding maintenance items that need to be completed?
Leak Survey – Have you had one done recently? Are there still unrepaired leaks? Consider having another one done.
Header Sizing – have you outgrown your system? Having a header that is sized too small could lead to significant pressure drop costing a lot of unnecessary expense.
Repair. The increased strain on your compressor system means that repairs should be an essential part of your summer prep work.
Pipe Connections – Check for leaks and fix them.
Point of Use – Check connections and replace leaking, high-pressure drop connections.
Leaks – Repair as many leaks as possible.
Thoroughly Check for Oil Leaks on Compressors – Repair or consult a trusted service advisor to make repairs.
Check and Test all Condensate Drains – Make sure to confirm that the drain valves operate correctly and close all the way. If the valve does not operate, drain condensate from receiver tank.
Check Your Oil-Water Separator(s) – Make sure they are operating and draining properly. If not, repair or replace.
Check ALL Filters – These include inlet filters, oil filters/separators and line filters. Replace as needed.
Renew. Keeping maintenance a top priority will help to ensure there’s less downtime and wasted energy, but it’s also essential to renew your existing equipment and ensure that it’s operating at optimal levels:
Clean ALL Coolers – Intercoolers, aftercoolers, water coolers and refrigerated dryer condensers.
Check Desiccant Dryers – Check operation and performance. Consider taking a core sample and sending for analysis to see if desiccant is still performing. Refer to manufacturer’s instruction.
Dewpoint Sensors – Most dewpoint sensors require yearly calibration
Update controls – Check for firmware updates (if required). Consider updating to newest technology for networking capability, automated scheduling and remote control capability.