Air compressor room design can make a big difference in the performance of your compressor system, affecting factors like efficiency, safety, air quality, equipment lifespan, return on investment and the bottom line. A properly designed compressor room can reduce the amount of energy required to distribute air throughout the facility, improve the performance of compressor equipment, reduce unscheduled maintenance, improve air quality and ensure that equipment operates efficiently and according to specifications.
The air compressor room is the heart of the compressor system, and care should be taken to ensure that you follow best practices for the room’s design. Here are several important factors to consider in compressor room design:
- Select the right location for the compressor room — Situate the compressor room in as central a location as is feasible and as closely as possible to all points of use. A central location will reduce the amount of piping needed to distribute compressed air, and can attenuate pressure drops over longer distances. Keeping pipe distances to a minimum also reduces the likelihood of leaks and other maintenance issues.
- Make sure clearances are correct — The room should have sufficient space to allow for maintenance and operation needs as well as doors, cabinets, canopies and other design features. Ensure that all maintenance, minor or major, can be sufficiently carried out within the confines of the room.
- Consider compressor room ventilation — The compressor room ventilation system will be one of the most important factors in the quality and reliability of your compressor system’s performance. Since compressors generate a large amount of heat, proper ventilation and cooling are critical to ensure operation and prevent damage to the equipment. Be sure that air is ducted into the compressor room from outside, and that the air works in conjunction with the compressor’s cooling system. Every compressor will have information from the manufacturer about cooling requirements, so be sure to follow these specifications.
- Ensure the quality of intake air — Clean intake air is a key requirement to prevent damage to the equipment and ensure that distributed air is free of particulate, oil and other contaminants. Ensure that the intake source meets the requirements of the end uses for your compressed air.
- Place auxiliary equipment properly — When considering the placement and design of your compressor room, be sure to factor in the placement of other equipment, as well. This includes cooling systems, pumps, fans, piping and more. When designing your room and compressor system, start with a big-picture view of distribution and operational needs, making sure that you don’t overlook any of these factors.