Thursday, September 7
Why Adding Air Storage Tanks Is Beneficial to Your Compressed Air System
An air receiver tank is exactly what it sounds like! It is an added tank connected to your air compressor that provides extra storage for air compressed by your compressor. Receiver tanks are able to store the compressed air in its pressurized state until it is ready to be used. These tanks can come in a variety of sizes and configurations to best match your system’s needs.
Benefits Air Receiver Tanks Provide
Added storage is the most obvious benefit of adding an air receiver tank to your system. This is the primary role of a receiver tank, and it allows the system to meet peak demand while ensuring enough supply will still be available for continuous air delivery after peak demand is met. Air in the tank is also available for use when the compressor is not running, which can allow some applications to operate at lower horsepower for larger jobs.
Constant Pressure Control
Most air compressors utilize pistons moving up and down to create compressed air and release it for use. Because of the cyclical motion of the pistons, compressed air is delivered in pulses. A receiver tank takes away the pulsation effect and instead helps your system provide a steady, constant, uniform flow of compressed air that makes it easier to perform many applications and reduces the wear on your compressor.
Prevention of Unnecessary Wear & Tear
When your system senses a need for compressed air, the motor will automatically activate, even if that means it must work overtime to complete the job. This also means that the internal parts will have to work overtime to keep up as well, sometimes being jolted to life to keep up. A receiver tank prevents this added wear and tear by reducing the cycles a compressor undergoes and mitigates excessive loading or unloading.
The air around us contains water vapor that can contain contaminants. After an air compressor compresses the atmospheric air around us, vapor then cools, and condensation is released that can enter into your system. Receiver tanks collect this condensation into moisture traps that are easy to drain, storing only the dry compressed air for use.
It is clear that adding an air receiver can increase your system’s efficiency. With increased efficiency comes energy savings! There are a few ways in which adding extra air storage can provide your plant energy savings:
- Reduces wasted compressed air.
- In between your air compressor cycling on and off, compressed air can be accidentally released and wasted. While it may be a miniscule amount of air, this constantly happening over a long period of time can add up to a substantial amount of air at a very high cost. Having a properly sized receiver tank reduces the need for frequent cycling and thus reduces the opportunity for compressed air to escape unnecessarily.
- Reduces compressor’s operating pressure.
- As discussed earlier, an air receiver stands as an added reservoir that your plant can draw compressed air from to meet high demand periods. Without this added reservoir, your compressor would have to operate at very high pressures to keep up with peak demand which also means it needs to use more energy to do so. The added storage tank allows your compressor to operate at a lower, more efficient pressure level while still meeting peak demand periods, thus saving energy.
- Increased Dryer Efficiency
- Compressed air is extremely hot due to all the pressure exerted on it. Because of this, the air released from a compressor can be too hot for most equipment required to complete your facility’s applications. This hotter air also contains more moisture that needs to be removed before being used. A heat exchanger is many times used to remove excess heat (and thus, moisture) before the air reaches a compressed air dryer or the point of use. Receiver tanks stand as a second heat exchanger, where the air that reaches the tank is stored and slowly cooled before being used. Some of the moisture that results from cooling gets trapped and drained out of the tank so that the air contains less heat and moisture than when it entered. This air now funnels through an air dryer before use, and since it has already been cooled to a certain point, the air dryer does not have to work as hard to completely cool the air, thus saving energy.
Different air tools that require compressed air to function, also require varying, controlled torque. Torque is the speed the air compressor runs at. Some tools may require spurts of different amounts of torque while completing the same job. An air receiver tank improves the system’s torque significantly.
Wet vs. Dry Storage
Wet Storage Tanks
Wet storage tanks are located before the air-drying system. In these configurations, air flows through the tank by entering the bottom port and exiting out of the top to travel to the dryer next.
- Increases your dryer efficiency by allowing excess moisture to condense out before traveling to the dryer.
- Sends dryer, cleaner air through the pre-filter element than an air compressor would, thus prolonging the life of this filter element.
- Prevents backpressure to the compressor by not traveling through filtration before entering the tank.
Dry Storage Tanks
Dry storage tanks are located after the air dryers to store compressed air that has already been fully dried and filtered. Because of this, air does not flow through the tank, but instead settles in the tank as dry, stored, compressed air.
- Dry compressed air is ready to be used directly from the tank and is immediately read for peak demand periods.
- Reduces the burden of your air dryer during peak demand events which can commonly put the dryer at risk of over-capacitation without a dry storage tank.
Zorn is the Midwest leader of custom, engineered compressed air and vacuum solutions. We provide the best customer experience by understanding your applications and needs and offering an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction.
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Our compressed air experts look forward to meeting you to discuss your equipment and support needs. Please contact us directly at (262) 695-7000 with any questions or to schedule service for your system moving forward.
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