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Centrifugal Air Compressors


Used in HVAC Systems and Jet Engines, these Units are Workhorses

© 2012 by Cristian Eli Alvarez Hernandez; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.

A turbocharger with air compressor; Photo courtesy NASA



Any home improvement process can be long and arduous. Depending on the work you plan on doing, you might wish to start by determining what kind of tools you will need.

I know that this sounds rather simple and it might seem like I am stating the obvious, but on many occasions I have seen people spend dozens of hours just trying to figure what tools they might require.

Now, one of the most frequently encountered tools that we might have in our own homes, yet we do not know it, is quietly doing its work there. I’m referring to centrifugal air compressors.

The photo above, courtesy of NASA, displays a turbocharger. The element in blue is the air compressor component. You can see that although the tolerances are very tight and precise, the concept is really quite simple.

Ingersoll Rand Centrifugal Air Compressors

One of the biggest names in this business is Ingersoll Rand, and the ones in the Centact series are some of the best in the world. Centrifugal air compressors can appear in a lot of situations, but when talking about homes, chances are you have one in your HVAC system as a component of your air-conditioning.

When you need the extra power, a standalone centrifugal compressor can give you that edge. The models from Ingersoll Rand for example, offer fewer moving parts, thus reduced wear and tear.

They also use carbon ring seals that will minimize air leakage and thus increase efficiency, while a well-balanced rotor assembly ensures reduced vibration.

If you ever need IR centrifugal parts you don’t need to fear that it will kill your budget, since there are plenty of companies offering excellent pricing for these parts.

Use Activated Alumina as a Desiccant

A good way to ensure that your air compressor keeps performing at optimal capacity is by investing in activated alumina. This product is manufactured from aluminum hydroxide, which achieves a highly porous state.

If you were to completely stretch out one gram of activated alumina, you would get a surface of 200 square meters.

This is used as a desiccant in order to reduce the amount of moisture present in the air. Air, irrespective of the region you live in, will contain a certain level of humidity.

By reducing it, you can be sure that your centrifugal air compressor will work better for longer periods of times and you won’t need to invest in parts too soon.

Jet engine with compressor; photo courtesy Stahlkocher

The advantages of such compressors are obvious; a simple example of a centrifugal air compressor can be found in jet engines. These work on compressing air into a small chamber.

In our case however, we do not add highly flammable products into the air mix, so if you are using a Centac air compressor, you will want to invest into a desiccator such as the previously mentioned one.

Reducing the water content in the air within the compressor can severely improve overall performance as well as operation life.

So if you are in the market looking for a new unit, then personally I would recommend an Ingersoll Rand model, since the company manufactured their first one over a hundred years ago, meaning they have a wealth of experience.

Not only that, but their high-quality products, combined with good maintenance can offer you a well-performing compressor for years to come.

Their uses are wide, so you will not regret investing into one if you need the added grunt for your home improvement projects!

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About the Author:

Cristian Eli Alvarez Hernandez Cristian has been a contractor for a few years, working on a number of home improvement projects. When it comes to adding those small touches to make your home a welcoming place, you can count on his opinion.

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