The aim of correctly sizing your compressed air system is to ensure that both the capacity and pressure demands are met in the most cost effective and efficient manner. When looking at what size and type of compressed air system is required to meet your needs, There are three main factors to consider:
The capacity of the system can be determined by summing the requirements of the tools and process operations needed for the site. The total capacity required will be the average air consumption for each and the load factor determining how and when the air is used. For example, high short term air demands may be met by stored air in an air receiver.
Different tools and processes require different pressures. Pneumatic tools and equipment should have a pressure rating as listed by their respective manufacturer. The objective should be to meet the respective pressures required after taking into account pressure losses through pipe lines and treatment equipment whilst not over pressurising the system. Over pressure is both inefficient in energy consumption and can also in fact increase consumption through unregulated air uses and system leaks.
Another important aspect to determining the correct system size and type is how a compressed air systems requirements change over time.
System with large variations in air demand need a system that operates efficiently under part load. Variable speed drive compressors and/or multiple compressors with sequencing controls may provide the most economical solution in this case.