A typical air compressor system

New to air compressors? Here’s how your typical compressed air system might look and work.

Diagram of a basic compressed air system

There is no single, standard compressed air system. So it’s important to state at the outset that whilst the layout below is one typical option, there are plenty more.

But if you’re unfamiliar with compressed air systems, here’s our brief guide to some of the pieces of equipment you’re likely to encounter:


1. Air Compressor: The air compressor feeds air to your drill, conveyor, sprayer etc.
2. Air Receiver/Tank: The receiver stores air until it is required. It needs to be big enough to cope with variations in demand, ensuring there’s enough pressure to keep a constant supply to all your equipment.
3. Filtration: The first filtration unit will typically remove liquid and dust particles above 3 microns, ensuring your air remains contaminant-free.
4. Refrigerant dryer: Without a dryer of some form, moisture can damage air compressor equipment, increase operating costs and affect the end finish of a product. Refrigerant dryers cool the air to remove moisture.
5. After Filter: The after filter removes liquid and dust to 0.01 microns.


As you can see from the diagram, the air receiver, filters and refrigerant dryer each have drains that take waste water and oil to the compressed air water separator. Here, oil is removed so the clean water can be disposed of safely and in accordance with health & safety/environmental regulations.


Want help designing your compressed air system or selecting individual compressed air system components? Please call 0114 243 2347 or contact us.


Air Receivers - You know you need an air receiver, but do you know which one? Ask the experts

Air Receivers

Available as one-off purchases or as part of a broader compressed air installation package. Ask us to find the right receiver for you.

Inline Filtration - installing refrigerant dryer & moisture removal

Inline Filtration

Keep your compressed air flowing. Ask us about the right filters for you.

Refrigerated air dryer ultrafilter for compressed air

Refrigerant & Desiccant Dryers

Dry air means lower operating costs, better finished products & a longer lasting compressor. Find the right dryer with us.