It is without doubt that industrial air compressor rental is popular considering that it serves a wide range of applications. To save time and money, it is important to take a closer look at your requirements so that the equipment will not be so expensive to operate. Reciprocating and rotary screw air compressors are the most common types you will find in the market because they are capable of meeting the requirements of different industries.
Reciprocating vs. rotary screw air compressors
The reciprocating compressor is usually used for general purpose applications that requires high pressure like hand tools. Reciprocating compressors are either single stage or two-stage. Single stage industrial air compressor can attain pressures of up to 150 psi. On the other hand, the two-stage air compressor can be good for pressures that are up to 250 psi. Although their functions are the same, the two-stage air compressor is much more efficient at high pressure because air is cooled between the stages. In the two-stage compressor, air is drawn in and compressed to an intermediate pressure after which it is piped into an intercooler where it is allowed to cool before it is compressed for the second stage. Reciprocating compressors are relatively cheap to rent but they are noisy enough to require a sound-proofed room.
The rotary screw industrial air compressor is common in the industrial air compressor rental world. This type of air compressor is more complex with a higher purchasing price than reciprocating compressors. However, the rotary screw compressor is considered a workhorse that can supply large amounts of compressed air. The two basic types of rotary screw compressors include the oil-injected and the oil-free. The oil-injected compressor is more common in industries and machine shops while the oil-free compressor is mostly found in food and beverage production as well as pharmaceuticals. These industries require 100% oil-free air so that products will not be contaminated.
How much horsepower does the application require?
Industrial air compressor is rated through its peak horsepower or what is more commonly known as brake horsepower. Peak horsepower is defined as the maximum output that the motor can produce while the start windings of the motor are engaged. Brake horsepower can be as much as five to seven times the rated or running horsepower. However, under normal operating conditions, start windings will only be engaged for a small fraction of a second which can be misleading because it would seem that the motor only develops horsepower during startup. This is the reason why most manufacturers of electric motors rate the horsepower of their motors through running or rated horsepower.
Running or rated horsepower is a better indication of the horsepower that the motor can sustain over a long period of time. Contrary to the peak horsepower, the motor drive system that causes the start winding to become engaged for a long period of time can either overheat if it has thermal protection or fail prematurely. Many companies offering industrial air compressor rental are using SCFM for a more accurate performance indicator.