The air compressors we supply and install are designed for a range of uses, and as a result they have a range of power outputs, providing enough horsepower for a single tool, or for a whole factory floor of them. But horsepower in the air compressor industry has proved to be a rather unreliable measure, so how can you ensure the equipment you choose has the power you need?
The uncertainty stems from years of manufacturing practises that saw the horsepower quoted in the product spec as a measure of peak power output, not constant power. Another common source of confusion was to quote the volume of air a compressor could deliver at a lower pressure than the industry standard (thereby artificially inflating the stated power of the equipment).
So if you can’t rely absolutely on the stated horsepower of the machine, what can you rely on? Well, start with the standard measurement, which is SCFM (ie the volume – in cubic feet – of compressed air delivered in a minute, at sea level, 35% humidity and at 68°, compared to the discharge PSI. At least when you compare the SCFMs of two competing air compressors, you should be comparing like with like.
Even then, if you’re to guarantee being able to generate all the air you need, our advice is to overestimate your air requirements by 40%. That way, you’re certain not to find yourself with a brand new air compressor that’s unable to deliver during your peak demand periods.
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