- Q.1) What is a Compressor? What is the difference between a Compressor and a Pump? What are the practical uses of Compressed Air?
- A.1) A compressor is a device which is extensively used to raise the pressure of a compressible fluid like pure air. In a compressor, the pressure is increased at the expense of work done on the fluid, which is generally provided by an electric motor, IC engines or Gas Turbines. In a compressor, fluids are compressed by reducing the specific volumes of the working fluids. Due to compression, the temperature of the fluid is also increased.
- If air is used as the working fluid in a compressor and air is compressed into a high pressure by the application of work on the fluid, then it is known as Air Compressor.
PRACTICAL USES OF COMPRESSED AIRIn industry, compressed air is so widely used that it is often regarded as the fourth utility, after electricity, natural gas and water. Compressed air, commonly called Industry's Fourth Utility, is air that is condensed and contained at a pressure that is greater than the atmosphere. The process takes a given mass of air, which occupies a given volume of space, and reduces it into a smaller space. In that space, greater air mass produces greater pressure. The pressure comes from this air trying to return to its original volume. It is used in many different manufacturing operations.
- Compressed air is extensively used in industrial applications like pneumatic machines, as well as in the refrigeration and air-conditioning systems or supercharging CI engines to boost the output of the engine.
- 01) Compressed air is extensively used to operate pneumatic tools like drills, hammers, rivetting machines etc.
- 02) It is used to drive Compressed Air Engine.
- 03) Compressed air is used to spray painting.
- 04) Compressor is a vital component of Air-conditioning and Refrigeration industry.
- 05) Very often, compressed air can be used as a means of energy storage.
06) It is used in Gas Turbine power plants.
07) It is used to Super-charging an IC engines.
08) It is used to convey or pump to flow the materials like sand or concrete slurries along a pipe line.
09) It can be used as a means to pump water through the pipe lines.
10) It is used to drive minning machineries in a fire risky zone.
11) It is also used in blast furnaces.
- Q.2) Classify the compressors
- (i) On the basis of operations employed
- (ii) On the basis of pressure achieved
- (iii) On the basis of pressure ratio
- (iv) On the basis of capacity of compressors.
- A.2) Depending upon different parameters, compressors can be classified on the basis of operations employed, the delivery pressure achieved, pressure ratio and capacity of compressors as follows.
- On the basis of operations employed, compressors are classified into two groups
- i) Reciprocating compressors : It uses piston cylinder arrangement and due to positive displacement of air in the cylinder, the air is compressed and delivered to a vessel called Receiver. These are capable to produce high delivery pressure with low volume flow rate.
- ii) Rotary Compressors : These compressors operate at high speeds, therefore, can handle large volume flow rates compared to reciprocating compressors.
In rotary compressors, the dynamic head is imparted to the gas with the help of very high speed impeller rotating at a confined space so that the air is compressed due to centrifugal action.
- On the basis of delivery pressure, compressors are classified into three categories
- i) Low Pressure Compressors : Delivery pressure upto 1.1 bar
- ii) Medium Pressure Compressors : Delivery pressure upto 7 bar
- iii) High Pressure Compressors : Delivery pressure between 7 to 10 bar.
- On the basis of pressure ratio, we can classify the devices as follows,
- Fans : Pressure ratio upto 1.1
- Blower : Pressure ratio upto 1.1 to 4.0
- Compressors : Pressure ratio above 4.0
- On the basis of capacity, compressors can be classified as follows,
- Low capacity compressors : Volume flow rate upto 10 m³/min, or less
- Medium capacity compressors : Volume flow rate 10 m³/min to 300 m³/min
- High capacity compressors : Volume flow rate above 300 m³/min