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Air Compressor Control Systems

Centrifugal air compressors, also called radial compressors, are a type of turbomachine that achieves air compression through the interaction of a rotor and an incoming stream of air. These compressors are typically used as industrial air compressors in San Jose for the production of clean compressed air without the need for air compressor oil, thus producing air suitable for use in the pharmaceutical, medical, and food processing industries.

How Centrifugal Air Compressors Work

Centrifugal air compressors produce compressed air by adding kinetic energy to a stream of air. This is accomplished by drawing air into the center of the air compressor, which houses a rotating impeller. The impeller has a radial blade design that pushes the incoming stream of air toward the center via centrifugal force; the movement of the air toward the center results in an increase in pressure, as well as the production of kinetic energy. This kinetic energy is also converted into pressure via the use of a diffuser and volute, further increasing the pressure of the air stream before it is expelled for use. Centrifugal air compressors can consist of multiple stages, allowing for the controlled addition of pressure in several increments.

How Centrifugal Air Compressors Are Controlled

Centrifugal air compressors are versatile industrial air compressors; these dynamic industrial air compressors function at constant pressure, while performance is managed by making external changes in the temperature and other characteristics of the input airflow. Input flow is controlled using a device such as an electronic or pneumatic inlet butterfly valve or a series of radial blades, called inlet guide vanes, which can be rotated from open to closed to regulate the airflow. The two modes of control achieved via these devices are called auto-dual control and constant pressure control. Auto-dual control allows the user to set a compressor discharge point and a minimum throttle point; the compressor will operate between these two setpoints, pausing once it is unloaded until the cycle is completed. Constant pressure control uses a modulating unloading value to maintain constant discharge pressure throughout the compressor’s entire operating range.