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  1. Different Types of Reciprocating Compressors

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    Reciprocating compressors are positive-displacement machines that compress and deliver gases at high pressures through the use of a piston or plunger. Refineries, gas transmission pipelines, and many other applications use reciprocating compressors to transfer hydrogen, oxygen, and other gases. This type of compressor is often used when the process fluid is relatively dry and when high compression ratios are required per stage without high flow rates.

    In this post, we’ll review the different types of reciprocating compressors and some of the reliable options available from Energy Machinery, Inc.

    Oil-Free vs Lubricated Reciprocating Compressors

    Click to Expanddifferent types of reciprocating compressors

    Applications can use either lubricated or oil-less reciprocating compressors based on their unique requirements.

    Lubricated Reciprocating Compressors
    Lubricated reciprocating compressors use lubricating oil to keep the piston running smoothly without causing damage to the mechanism. The lubricant also serves to maintain air compression efficiency and dissipate heat. This type of reciprocating compressor requires more frequent maintenance checks as well as periodic oil changes. Additionally, they require added air filtration, including coalescing filters and separators, which prevent oil from contaminating processes and affecting downstream equipment.

    Oil-Free Reciprocating Compressors
    With oil-free reciprocating compressors, the compression element is coated with a pre-lubricating material, eliminating the need for oil-based or synthetic lubrication. This type of compressor requires less routine maintenance but more extensive repairs. They also have a much shorter lifespan and they’re considerably louder during operation.

    Because of these differences, lubricated reciprocating compressors are often more ideal for applications where compressors will experience heavy use. However, food processing, pharmaceutical, and other applications may want to use an oil-less compressor if they require air with high purity levels.

    Types of Reciprocating Compressors

    Whether you require oil-less or lubricated reciprocating compressors for your application, Energy Machinery, Inc. carries a variety of models to meet your needs. Our line of compressors includes:

    • PureAir Oil-Less Compressor. The Gardner Denver PureAir Series compressors are electric motor driven and designed to meet strict specifications regarding air purity for both institutional and industrial applications.
    • PureAir II Oil-Less Compressor. This Gardner Denver compressor is capable of 24-hour operation, which prevents the need for backup units and oversizing for optimal cost-effectiveness.
    • Reward Series™ – Reciprocating Air Compressors. Gardner Denver’s Reward Series compressors feature long-lasting designs that make them ideal for any application. Each compressor also includes as many as six standard pre-installed accessories.
    • R-Series Splash-Lubricated Compressor. R-Series compressors include a variety of unique features such as automotive-type domed pistons, which allow for the use of large-diameter, low-lift valves while providing maximum air delivery.
    • PL-Series Pressure-Lubricated Compressor. PL-Series compressors, much like the R-Series, include automotive-type domed pistons and other features for top performance. This model is specifically designed for use in extreme-duty applications, serving as an alternative for R-Series models.
    • Paradigm – Low Noise Reciprocating Air Compressors. These compressors are ideal for applications requiring quiet operation.
    • A-Series Reciprocating Compressors, Vacuum Pumps, and Boosters for Air and Natural Gas. A-Series compressors offer unbeatable accessibility, reliability, and quality with each component.
    • Climate Control Air-Cooled Reciprocating Compressors. Gardner Denver’s climate control compressors can meet the needs of nearly any application with complex climate control systems.
    • R and PL-Series Lubricated Air Compressors and Bare Pumps. Gardner Denver’s R and PL-Series compressors and bare pumps offer superior quality, longevity, and efficiency.

    Reciprocating Compressors Serving New England

    Oil-free and lubricated reciprocating compressors can meet the needs of many applications across a wide range of industries. To make sure you find the equipment that’s right for you, turn to the experts at Energy Machinery, Inc. We can help you locate the ideal solution in our extensive line of top-quality products. For more information about our reciprocating compressors or to get started with the selection process, contact us today.

  2. All About Oil-Free Air Compressors

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    Air compressors take in air and pressurize it, creating clean, compressed air that plays a vital role in industries such as textiles, electronics, food, automotive, and packaging. Air compressors are at most job sites given their varied applications. There are different types of air compressors that you can purchase for industrial use, and they vary in weight, size, output performance, and overall benefits. Knowing the distinctions between oil-free and oil air compressors will help you pick the right type for your project.

    What Is an Oil-Free Air Compressor?

    Click to Expand oil-free air compressors

    Oil-free compressors use alternative lubrication, cooling, and sealing methods, such as water lubrication, pre-lubricated cylinders, and intercoolers. Although some of these compressors do technically contain oil, the oil can’t come into contact with the compressor, which eliminates the risk associated with oil contamination and provides high-quality air for manufacturing. Air contamination from oil could harm equipment components or damage a company’s manufactured products.

    Some of the industries that use oil-free air compressors and benefit from the lack of contamination risk include:

    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Paper
    • Power generation
    • Medical
    • Chemical
    • Food and beverage

    Oil-Free Air Compressor Benefits

    The advantages of using oil-free compressors include:

    • Portability. Most of these compressors are portable and have a compact design.
    • Weight. Oil-free compressors are lighter, so you can carry them easily during different commercial applications.
    • Noise reduction. The modern oil compressors are quieter than traditional ones due to the dual-piston, direct drive, and sound-reducing technology.
    • Cleanliness. Oil-free compressors are preferable in cleaner applications such as food and beverage processing because they produce quality air without contamination risks.
    • Lower maintenance and cost. With lower energy usage and fewer maintenance concerns handling leaks, oily condensate, and separator and filter replacement components, oil-free compressors can be a cost-effective solution.
    • Lubrication. You don’t have to lubricate this equipment manually.
    • Environmental concerns. These compressors reduce environmental impacts and toxic emissions since oil-free compressors do not need scheduled oil changes.
    • Safety. Oil-free compressors limit the likelihood of compressed air pipeline fires resulting from oil carryover.

    Oil-Free Air Compressors vs. Oil Air Compressors

    Oil-Free Air Compressors

    One of the most notable features of an oil-free air compressor is the noninteraction between the compressed air and lubrication oil. This results in a better quality air supply, which is valuable in applications such as cleanrooms and dentistry. Also, oil-free compressors weigh much less than oil-lubricated compressors. This makes them ideal for commercial applications in medical air supplies, tire inflation, pneumatic tools, and jackhammering.

    Oil Air Compressors

    In oil-lubricated air compressors, however, the oil running the unit interacts with the output air, potentially introducing contamination. Oil droplets, liquids, mist, and vapors can get into the compressed air. Also, oil air compressors are often mounted as they are heavier and more cumbersome. As a result, they work best in applications that don’t need continual relocation.

    Featured Oil-Free Air Compressors

    Some of the oil-free compressor types available include:

      • PureAir Oil-Less Air Compressors. These compressors have advanced features and meet exacting standards to ensure better air quality. You also enjoy less maintenance and noise as some of the system’s benefits.
      • PureAir II Oil-Less Air Compressors. The PureAir II compressors feature a pressure-based, mounted, oil-less design that is ideal for continuous operation.
      • EnviroAire Series Oil-Free Rotary Screw Compressors. These EnviroAire units are water-injected compressors that operate at a lower temperature, providing low power consumption, high efficiency levels, and near isothermal compression.
      • Ultima Oil-Free Two Stage Variable Speed Compressors. These unique design units have a dry screw air end which provide the ultimate in efficiency.

    Click here to learn more about Gardner Denver’s updated Oil-Free compressor solutions

    Oil-Free Air Compressors From Energy Machinery

    Oil-free compressors are becoming popular in many industries for their various applications and lack of risk for oil contamination. At Energy Machinery, Inc., we have a comprehensive range of oil-free compressors to suit almost any industrial need.

    If you would like to find out more about our line of oil-free compressor solutions, please feel free to view our equipment catalog or contact us today. You can also request information for other products such as reciprocating compressors, variable speed compressors, lubricants and repair parts, used machinery, refrigerated air dryers, and more.

  3. Rotary Screw Air Compressor Guide

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    Air compressors are pneumatic devices that increase the pressure of a gas by compressing it into a smaller volume. The kinetic energy contained in the pressurized air can then be used to power various tools and equipment. Based on their method of operation, air compressors can be split into several categories. The most common types include:

    Rotary Screw Air Compressor Guide

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    • Rotary screw
    • Rotary vane
    • Scroll

    What Is a Rotary Screw Air Compressor?

    Rotary screw air compressors utilize a rotary-type positive displacement mechanism to compress air. Two intertwined screw rotors trap the ambient air and force it through the compression chamber as they rotate. As the air moves toward the discharge valve, its volume gradually decreases while its pressure increases. The resulting compressed air can then be used to operate air-driven tools, inflate tires, or power pneumatic equipment.

    The main components of a rotary screw compressor include:

    • Air-end. This is the part of the compressor where the actual air compression occurs.
    • Air filter. The air filter purifies the air before it enters the compressor.
    • Primary separator tank. This component separates the compressed air from the compressor oil as it exits the air-end.
    • Secondary separation filter. The secondary separation filter collects any remaining oil particles in the air and circulates them back to the main oiling system.
    • Oil filter. The oil filter traps particles or contaminants from the oil before it re-enters the compressor
    • Oil cooler. This component cools the hot oil before it returns to the compressor.
    • Hoses. The hoses facilitate oil and air movement among various compressor components.
    • Controls. Controls operate the air compressor and provide relevant diagnostic or service information.
    • Oil. Oil lubricates the compressor, protects internal components, traps contaminants, and keeps the system cool.

    Rotary Screw Air Compressor Benefits

    Rotary screw air compressors provide the following advantages in compressed air applications:

    • Continuous operation. Operating at 100% duty cycle, rotary screw compressors can function for long periods of time without requiring downtime to cool.
    • Powerful yet quiet performance. Rotary screw compressors can deliver large volumes of air while producing minimal noise.
    • Higher CFM per HP. Compared with reciprocating and piston compressors, rotary screw compressors can move larger quantities of air—measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM)—per horsepower (HP).
    • Superior lifespan and energy efficiency. When maintained properly, rotary screw compressors can last 6-8 times longer than reciprocating or piston-based compressors and tend to have better warranties. They also generate significantly less heat, making them much more energy efficient.

    Rotary Screw Compressors Vs. Rotary Vane Compressors

    While they offer similar benefits, rotary screw and rotary vane compressors each have distinct capabilities that influence their suitability for certain applications. These include:

    • Applications. Rotary vane compressors are ideal when a smaller, quieter unit is preferred, while rotary screw compressors are better suited for larger horsepower applications with higher pressure requirements.
    • Leakage & lubrication. While the rate of leakage in rotary screw compressors tends to increase over time, a rotary vane compressor’s design allows for reduced leakage with increasing use.
    • Speed control. The energy efficiency of a rotary vane compressor is significantly reduced when operating speeds exceed or fall below their functional range. In contrast, rotary screw compressors can quickly adapt to variations in air demand with minor losses in efficiency.
    • Bearings. Compared with the simple bearings used in rotary vane compressors, the complex ball bearings of rotary screw compressors typically require more frequent inspection and replacement.
    • Repair & maintenance costs. In general, rotary screw compressors are more complex in design and require more maintenance and repair than their rotary vane counterparts.

    Featured Rotary Screw Air Compressors

    At Energy Machinery, we provide a variety of rotary screw air compressor options to suit specific applications. These include:

    Rotary Screw Air Compressors from Energy Machinery

    Energy Machinery offers an extensive selection of rotary screw air compressors from Gardner Denver and other leading manufacturers. With five decades of experience in our industry, we have the expertise and product selection to meet your specific needs while adhering to your budget.

    To learn more about our rotary screw air compressors or other products, please contact us today.


  4. Silent Air Compressor Buying Guide

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    Traditional air compressors create a great deal of excessive noise, which can cause various issues such as hearing loss, communication errors, decreased productivity, and more. To prevent these issues, many facilities invest in silent air compressors, which are specifically engineered to emit low levels of noise. The noise dampening properties of silent air compressors helps to decrease mechanical sound and noise pollution while still providing the compressed air needed for your operations.

    Silent Air Compressors Overview

    Click to Expandsilent air compressor buying guide

    Air compressor manufacturers recognize the potential for injury caused by high-volume compressors, which is why they have established standardized ratings based on decibel (dB) levels. The three standard ratings for air compressors are:

    • 40 dB. This compressor rating produces the lowest level of noise. Smaller, low-power air compressors tend to fall within this category.
    • 60 dB. This compressor rating is recognized as the safest noise level for air compressors.
    • 85 dB. Compressors with this rating regularly produce sound that exceeds safe noise levels. Employees who are exposed to this level of sound on a regular basis may experience negative health effects.

    Silent air compressors are specifically designed to create minimal noise through the use of advanced sound-reduction technology. They operate at or below 75 dB. Heavy hardware and noise-dampening materials minimize vibration, and a portable noise-dampening cover further eliminates excess sound. Silent air compressors come in oil-lubricated and oil-free designs, each of which features smooth component motion that reduces excess vibration from friction, grinding, and wear.

    Silent Air Compressors Advantages

    Silent air compressors offer a variety of advantages over more traditional compressor designs, including:

    • Reduced Maintenance
    • Lower Operating Costs
    • Many Applications
    • Extremely Portable
    • Reduced Power Consumption
    • Simple Start-Up
    • Low-Maintenance and Repair Costs
    • Improved Worker Safety

    Silent Air Compressors Applications

    Silent air compressors provide safe, efficient compressed air for a wide range of applications, including:

    • Spray Painting and Coating Equipment
    • Air-Powered and Air Impact Tools
    • Pneumatic Lifts and Elevators
    • Shot Peening and Sandblasting
    • Heating and Cooling Operations
    • Power Cleaning

    Featured Silent Air Compressors

    Energy Machinery, Inc. is pleased to offer a full selection of silent air compressors for use in a variety of domestic, commercial, and industrial applications. All of our ESM 6 compressors are highly efficient, extremely quiet, and cost-effective to operate and maintain.

    ESM 6 – Standard Compressor
    Our ESM 6 Standard Compressor is specifically designed for simplicity and ease of use. This compact 680 mm screw compressor is available with pressures up to 8 bar (115 psig). For those looking for a complete compressor station, we can customize your ESM 6 with tank-mounting and refrigerant dryer plus filter kit options. Installation and maintenance are simple, with removable side doors and quick access to all service points.

    ESM 6 – Mounted on 270 L Receiver
    This ESM 6 compressor is mounted on a 270 L receiver, which increases pressure up to 10 bar (145 psig). Larger than the standard, this model is 1540 mm wide and can be customized with an add-on refrigerant dryer and filter kit. Ideal for moderate commercial and industrial applications, the ESM 6 mounted on 270 L receiver is simple to install and maintain, with easy-to-adjust pressure settings.

    ESM 6 – Mounted on 500 L Receiver
    Our highest capacity ESM 6 design, mounted on 500 L receiver, provides pressures up to 13 bar (190 psig) in a package that is 1950 mm wide. This tank-mounted version can be customized with a refrigerant dryer and filter kit. This design is perfect for larger operations, with ample pressure for commercial and industrial washing, coating, painting, and cleaning operations.

    Silent Air Compressors from Energy Machinery, Inc.

    At Energy Machinery, Inc., we provide superior compressed air equipment for virtually any operation. To learn more about our selection of silent air compressors, contact us today!