Menu

How much air power do you need?

 
Whether you’re a small workshop running a single air tool, or a large manufacturing business running an entire factory floor’s worth of tools from an industrial compressor, there’s one simple fact of life in choosing the right equipment for the job. You need to be able to generate more air power than your tools require.

But how do you calculate the required air for your application(s) without overengineering things to such an extent that you end up paying to generate airflow you don’t need?

Follow these steps as a general guide only. For specific applications, call us first:

Q: Are you running one tool at a time from your air compressor, or several?
If you’ll be running one tool at a time, check the required CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings of each of the air tools you’ll be planning to use. You’ll find the information in product descriptions (if you haven’t yet bought the tools) or in the instructions (if you have). For the purposes of this exercise, go with the highest CFM figure.

If you’ll be running more than one tool from the same compressor, you’ll need to add all the CFM figures together and multiply by 1.2 to account for the power loss inherent in running more than one tool simultaneously.

Q: Will you be running tools continuously?
The CFM ratings you’re working to will usually be averages, calculated on the assumption you’ll be using air compressor power in short bursts. That’s fine if you’re powering something like a nail gun, but not if you’re running something continuously, such as a conveyor belt.

So for tools requiring continuous running, multiply their CFMs by 4.

Q: Are you using extension hoses?
The closer you can place the tool to the air compressor, the less chance there is of losing any significant amount of air flow through hoses, connectors, filters etc. If you’re operating on a large scale, with tools some distance from the central compressor, you’ll need to factor in airflow lost over distance.

As that figure will vary depending on the hoses and connectors used, call us on 0114 243 2347 for help in calculating your requirements.

Tank size?
Now, you should have a CFM figure, telling you how much air flow you’ll need to be able to produce. To equate that to air compressor tank size, multiply the figure by 6, and opt for the air compressor with the tank size that meets or is closest to (but above) it.

Need help finding the right air compressor for your application? Talk to Algar Air’s engineers now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

What We Do

 
Servicing | Service Contracts | General On-Site Maintenance | Repairs / Remedial Work | Breakdowns | Pipework Installations | Electrical Installations & Work | Removal, Transportation & Reinstallations

News Business

My air compressor won’t switch on. Help!

Before you call us, here are a few things to check…   1. Plug your compressor into the wall socket Is your air compressor using a power brick or extension cable? Plug the compressor directly into the nearest wall socket to ensure it’s not the extension cable that’s at fault. 2. Check the on/off switch […]

Read More
News Business

What is ‘wet air’, and how do I prevent it?

It’s the nemesis of most air compressor applications, but there are ways to beat the moisture in your air compressor system.   If you’ve used air compressors to any extent, chances are you’ll be familiar with the gurgling and spitting that happens at the business-end of the machine as your compressor produces water as well […]

Read More
News Business

Spray guns: will any air compressor do?

When the finish is everything, you’ll need the right air compressor (and accessories) for the job.   In paint spraying, often the first time you know something’s wrong with your compressed air equipment is when your carefully prepared surface ends up with that tell-tale orange peel effect. By which time, of course, it’s too late […]

Read More
News Business

Is it really ok to buy a used air compressor?

Yes, you’ll save money – but is buying used air compressor equipment a wise long-term choice for your business?   The short answer to that question is yes. There’s no reason why used air compressor equipment shouldn’t be perfectly capable of doing the job you need of it, safely, efficiently and successfully for years to […]

Read More