Diesel Air Compressors – What You Need to Know Before Buying


Diesel Air Compressors are One of the Most Common Types:

Several options are available for powering air compressors. Turbines using gas or water, engines using gasoline or diesel fuel and electric motors are all used in some air compression devices. Of all these power sources, one of the most widely-used for this purpose is diesel fuel.

Diesel air compressors are seen in many applications including the engines of vehicles such as autos, planes and boats. Though the designs vary according to their purpose, they fall into a few general categories.

Common Categories of Diesel Air Compressors:

• Centrifugal industrial air compressors use a rotating device called an impeller inside a sealed chamber. As the impeller spins, it forces air away from the axis and toward the edges of the chamber. Since the air is being forced into a smaller space, its pressure increases. The air then leaves the chamber and passes into piping for immediate use or into a tank for storage.

• Rotary vane air compressors use a spinning rotor with several blades in a chamber. The outer ends of the blades fit into spiral grooves in the inner wall of the chamber and stay in contact with that wall as they spin. Since the seal is airtight, the spinning of the rotors forces air into a space of decreasing size, causing its pressure to rise. When the pressure reaches the required level, the air is channeled out of the chamber for immediate use or storage.

• Rotary screw diesel air compressors use two spiral meshed screws in a chamber. As the screws turn, the space in the chamber decreases and the pressure of the air inside rises. When the pressure is high enough, it is allowed to pass into piping or storage.

• Reciprocating diesel air compressors use a piston moved by a crankshaft. When the piston moves out of its cylinder, a one-way valve allows air to flow inside. On the reciprocating stroke, the first valve closes and another one opens to allow the pressurized air to escape into piping or storage.

These devices are sometimes used in series with others of the same type, each compressor increasing the pressure until a very high level is reached.

Lubricating Diesel Air Compressors:

Because of their constant movement, many diesel air compressors require oil to avoid friction damage. This oil is usually added to the air as an aerosol so it can fully penetrate all the moving parts of the mechanism. In these models, there must be an additional device to remove the oil from the pressurized air as it leaves the compression chamber.

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