The Pump – The Backbone of Air Compressor Systems

Measuring Air Compressor Systems Output

The air compressor systems that the average homeowner or do-it-yourselfer will normally need are fairly simple. Air compressor systems basically consist of a power source, a pump, a pressure regulator, a relief valve, a pressure tank and tubing connecting the pump to the tank with a hose to release the air from the tank. A do-it-yourselfer may try building his own air compressor systems. The first consideration in building air compressor systems is how the compressor will be used and the pump that it needs. A compressor pump works much like a gasoline piston engine. One or two cylinder pumps are most common for do-it-yourselfer use.

The operation of these types of air compressor systems is very straightforward. If you designing not a screw driven but cylinder driven model, decides which motor to pump connections you might need. As the piston is pulled down to the bottom of the cylinder by the crankshaft, it creates a vacuum that draws air into the cylinder through the intake piston. As the crankshaft continues to rotate, it pushes the piston back to the top of the cylinder.

compressor-cylinder-3During this upstroke, the piston compresses the air in the cylinder. This compressed air is pushed out through the exhaust piston where it travels through a high pressure line to the holding tank. The tank, too, is designed to withstand pressure. The compressed air is accumulated and stored in the tank until it is used. A pressure relief valve is installed in the tank to keep the pressure inside the tank within safe levels.

The second major consideration in building your own air compressor systems is the power source. Especially important if you want to design a very silent model. This is usually an electric motor. In a few situations, a gasoline motor may be desired. The size and horsepower rating of the motor will depend upon the size of the pump and the volume of air to be produced.

Capacity Of Air Compressor Systems

The size or capacity of air compressor systems is determined by two output measurements. Both the pressure, measured in pounds per square inch (psi) and the volume, measured in cubic feet per minute are monitored to determine output capacity. Most do-it-yourselfers will build air compressor systems producing 90 to 150 psi.

compressor-manometer-1The output volume of air compressor systems will vary according to barometric pressure, humidity and temperature. Pump manufactures have come up with a standard rating of cfm at sea level with 68 degrees F. and 36 percent relative humidity. The output volume of the pump needed on a homemade air compressor will be determined by the volume required by the tools it will power. If the air compressor will be used only to inflate tires, a volume of 3-5 scfm will be more than adequate.

The components required to build air compressor systems are available at most home improvement stores, auto supply stores and farm supply stores. They are also readily available through Internet stores. Air compressor systems for home use are fairly simple and relatively easy to build. You can either build a new one or rework a used compressor. Plans and components are readily available. The true do-it-yourselfer may want to consider building his or her own homemade air compressor to fit specific tasks and needs. The do-it-yourselfer can also save a few dollars by building his air compressor systems.

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