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Most stationary industrial air

compressors and dryers are located
indoors inside a factory in a
compressor room. Its also common
to see them along a wall or tucked
into a corner of the factory floor
where production is taking place.
Proper ventilation and ducting of the
compressor room is required to
maintain inlet air temperatures within
design specifications. Compressor
room ventilation also provides
significant heat recovery opportunities
when properly managed.
The Hitachi DSP Next Series of Oil-Free Air Compressors
Ambient air can carry contaminants
able to negatively impact the

Ambient Airs Impact on compressed air equipment and the

quality of the compressed air. They

Compressed Air System can reduce compressed air system

equipment durability and life and

Performance also create production disruptions

by impacting production equipment
or creating product rejects.
By Nitin G. Shanbhag, Senior Manager, Air Technology Group, Hitachi America

I. Managing Inlet Air Pressure

Introduction Temperature when referring to and Temperature To Air
air compressors. Decreases in inlet Compressors and Dryers
Ambient air conditions have a
pressure reduce an air compressors Compressed air is often described
significant impact on rotary screw
ability to produce compressed air. as dynamic meaning that the
air compressor and refrigerated air
The two most common causes operating characteristics, such as
dryer performance. Understanding
of reduced inlet pressure are higher input energy required for specific
and managing equipment inlet air
elevation and restrictive inlet piping work, is ever-changing. These
pressure and temperature, ensuring
or filtration. Increases in ambient changes in operating characteristics
proper compressor room ventilation,
air temperature reduce the efficiency are caused by many factors including
and managing airborne particulates,
of air compressors and air dryers. cooling water temperature, electrical
caustic gases and oil mists, will have
Managing ambient pressure and drive train issues, capacity controls,
a direct impact on the reliability and
temperature helps end users ensure storage, etc. The most overlooked
quality of a compressed air system.
their compressed air systems can factor, however, is the most significant
Ambient air pressure and temperature efficiently deliver the expected volumes one changes in the ambient air
is also known as Inlet Pressure and and purity of compressed air. surrounding the air compressor.
White Paper: Ambient Airs Impact on Compressed Air System Performance

Lower Inlet Air Pressure: A fixed inlet volume of air at a Actual Cubic Feet per Minute and
The Effect of Elevation higher ambient pressure weighs represents the actual volume of
on Air Compressors more than the same volume at ambient air that is taken in by the air
a lower ambient pressure compressor and delivered to the air
The ambient condition of inlet air to the
air compressor affects the net weight Water vapor in the inlet air is system at final discharge pressure.
of the final delivered compressed compressed, discharged and Some companies use the term FAD
air to the system. Specifically, inlet removed by the compressed (free air delivery) instead. This air
temperature, pressure and relative air drying system and represents is taken at whatever temperature,
a reduction in the weight of air pressure, and relative humidity that
humidity affect both the density and
compressed and delivered to exists at the inlet of the air compressor.
weight of the total compressed air
the system
ultimately delivered to the compressed
This means at inlet conditions,
air users in the plant. Keep in mind Understanding Air Flow Terms: production machine and flow meter
the following: ACFM, SCFM and FAD manufacturers convert ACFM or FAD
A fixed inlet volume of cold Most rotary screw manufacturers into SCFM to correct the flow rate
air weighs more than the same describe the volume of air flow their to a standard set of conditions. This
volume of warm air equipment can provide in terms of corrects (usually lowers) the usable
ACFM and FAD. ACFM stands for volume to allow for ambient changes

Figure 1: Inlet Piping Restrictions at a Foundry Reduce Inlet Air Pressure

in pressure, temperature and relative 550 R) and 90% relative humidity. inside the production machine in
humidity. SCFM is calculated on the The calculation reduces Denvers net the example.
standard set of inlet conditions of 14.5 inlet ambient pressure to 12.2 psia
psia (1 Bar) ambient inlet pressure, 68 F minus .4882 psia, which is the effect Example #2: This example comes
(460+68=528 R) ambient temperature, of removing the water vapor with the from a compressed air audit at a pet-
and 0% relative humidity. dryer before it goes to the system. This food plant, located at a high elevation,
establishes a net inlet pressure of 11.71 in Northern Arizona. The plant had a
The Effect of Altitude psia, not including inlet filter losses. retort filling process causing significant
on Sizing Air Compressors problems. Retort is a filling process
Two Examples Acfm = 900 scfm x where the product is poured into

14.5 psia 550 R a container, and then cooked and

Example #1: A production machine
x sterilized inside the container.
requires 900 scfm of compressed 11.71 psia 528 R
air to function properly. The plant is = 1161 acfm When the air compressor and retort
located in Denver, Colorado, where
process was installed at the plant
average ambient air pressure is 12.2 At this elevation, the production
site, the actual fill time was 11.5 to
psia. The plant manager understands machine needs about 23% more
12 minutes. The maximum allowable
they cannot assume a 900 scfm inlet compressed air (1161 acfm
refill rate was 9.5 minutes. This refill
air compressor will provide enough versus 900 scfm) to deliver a similar
rate surprised the plant engineers
air. Also assumed is an ambient density or weight of compressed
who had selected the 350 hp, two-
temperature of 90 F (460 + 90 = air to run the pneumatic process

Table A: The Approximate Impact of Altitude on Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Nominal Approx. Approx %

Atmospheric Delivered Delivered
Altitude Pressure Compression Capacity Capacity
Feet psia/Bar Ratio acfm/M3 min scfm Bhp
As the altitude increases,
0 14.70 / 1 7.80 1000 / 92.9 100.0 187
1. The actual capacity at
intake decreases only
2000 13.66 / .94 8.32 995 / 92.4 93.5 179

2. The scfm delivered to

4000 12.68 / .87 8.89 990 / 92.0 87.1 171 the system decreases
6000 11.77 / .81 9.50 985 / 91.5 81.2 163 3. The bhp decreases
8000 10.91 / .75 10.15 980 / 91.0 75.4 156

10000 10.10 / .69 10.90 975 / 90.5 69.8 149 3
White Paper: Ambient Airs Impact on Compressed Air System Performance

stage, lubricant-cooled, rotary screw Manage Man-Made Causes the more a unit volume (of air) will
compressor and retort combination of Low Inlet Pressure weigh, thereby producing greater
planning a refill rate of 8.5 minutes. Most of the time, low inlet pressure scfm. In oil-free rotary screw air
A slower refill rate was unacceptable is caused by man and not by mother compressors, the actual swept volume
and had a negative impact on nature. The most common causes of inlet air has more effect on power
production. So what happened when of low inlet pressure are avoidable draw than does the scfm or weight of
sizing the air compressor? created by issues with installations air. As the ambient temperature falls,
and maintenance. Very common issues delivered air scfm increases at a much
The answer was the impact of greater rate than the power. The net
include restrictive inlet piping, dirty
higher elevation. Due to elevation, result leads to a relatively accurate
inlet filters, and out of adjustment inlet
the air compressor was provided guideline every 5 F of cooling
valves. These immediately have the
with an actual 11 psia inlet pressure leads to a 1% improvement in specific
same effect, as higher elevation, in
instead of the standard 14.5 psia power or efficiency (scfm/input kW).
reducing the inlet pressure to the air
inlet pressure used when selecting
the air compressor. When sizing the Air-cooled air compressors and
air compressor, the refill rate was Example: A compressed air audit, accessories (particularly after coolers)
established at 1820 acfm at 14.5 psia at a foundry, discovered 300 feet of are used throughout the world. Their
ambient pressure, needing 8.5 minutes 6 pipe feeding inlet air to three 150 performance is directly tied to the
to increase pressure from 0 psig to horsepower, lubricant-cooled, rotary ambient air temperature and pressure.
80 psig with a 350 hp rotary screw screw air compressors (see Figure 1). As ambient pressure falls, the ability
compressor. Instead, the result at 11 The inlet piping was very restrictive of the cooling air to transfer heat also
psia inlet pressure, was 1293 scfm and reduced inlet pressure from the falls as the air is now at a lower density.
at 100 psig, requiring 385 bhp (405 expected 14.2 psia to 9.5 psia. The When both ambient temperatures are
input hp), and unacceptable refill rates impact of this lower inlet pressure higher and ambient pressures are lower
of over 11.5 minutes (adding two was a reduction in available working performance issues become even
minutes per fill). compressed air from the projected more significant.
2,175 scfm to 1,503 scfm. The foundry
The lower inlet pressure of 11 psia Lubricant-cooled rotary screw or vane
needed more compressed air and
caused a 25% reduction in the weight compressors inject lubricant (at 150 F
couldnt understand why the air
of air and the extra energy required to 160 F) into the compressed air,
compressor couldnt supply enough.
to perform the same function was 405 either at the inlet or immediately after
input horsepower for 2 minutes longer In summary, after the compressor is seal-off. The oil acts as a coolant
per cycle. This resulted in a $79,400/ selected to deliver the proper scfm and absorbs most of the heat of
year unanticipated electric energy at site conditions, care must be compression. Regardless of design,
operating cost at $.10/kWh. exercised to not take any actions in some of this hot coolant/lubricant
installation or maintenance that would finds its way back to the inlet, where
In summary, the lighter the air going it can have a significant effect on
lower the inlet pressure and render
into an air compressor, the more the temperature of the air entering
the compressors too small.
ambient air needed to do the same the rotary compression element(s).
work such as run an air motor, fill This localized heating of the inlet air
The Impact of Ambient Air
a volume tank, run air cylinders, etc. basically offsets any gain in cooler inlet
Temperature on After-coolers
The higher elevation brings lighter air under normal operating conditions.
into the air compressor and higher As ambient air temperature increases,
temperature brings lighter air into the airs density is reduced. As Since the ambient air supplies the
the compressor. ambient air temperature is reduced, cooling air to the aftercooler, the

ambient temperature is very critical. packages are offered to increase the the temperature rises the amount
At lower ambient pressures, the maximum ambient temperatures. of vapor to be condensed per cubic
effective cooling or exchange of heat is foot increases requiring more
reduced further, thus directly reducing The Impact of Inlet Air refrigeration capacity to maintain
performance. This leads to evaluating Temperature and Pressure on the required pressure dewpoint.
these situations on a site specific basis. Refrigerated Air Dryer Sizing Note that as the inlet temperature
The correction chart (Table B), used rises from 100 F to 120 F at 100
Most air-cooled aftercoolers have a psig, the saturated flow rating must
to size refrigerated dryers, shows
T rating of 10 F to 50 F - with larger be reduced about 32% (.68 multiplier).
the effects of inlet temperature and
industrial units usually being 15 F.
pressure on the flow rating of a
This means that the maximum cooling Most standard refrigerated dryers
refrigerated dryer. Dryer flow ratings
air temperature to the air-cooled heat can operate under maximum ambient
are based on the total amount of
exchanger should be about 85 F with temperatures of 110 F and maximum
water vapor that can be held in vapor
a 10 F T. inlet temperatures of 120 F.
form for the scfm flow at 100 F inlet
and ambient temperatures. At colder
Extremely high ambient temperatures In North America, refrigerated air dryers
temperatures, the refrigeration capacity
can shut-down air compressors. Most have their flow ratings established by
can handle higher flows (although
standard rotary screw compressor using the three 100s. This is practical
excessive pressure loss may be an
packages will have a not to exceed only for remembering because its not
issue). Hotter air holds more water
maximum ambient temperatures of probable to see 100 F ambient with
vapor in vapor form, therefore, as
104 F to 115 F. Special cooling 100 F inlet temperatures to a dryer.

Table B: Refrigerated Air Dryer Correction Factors for Inlet Air Pressure and Temperature

Inlet Air Pressure Inlet Air Temperature

psig Bar 90 F 100 F 110 F 120 F 130 F

30 3.0 0.92 0.71 0.56 0.44 0.35

50 4.4 1.07 0.83 0.66 0.54 0.44

80 6.5 1.19 0.95 0.77 0.63 0.52

100 7.9 1.25 1.00 0.82 0.68 0.56

125 9.6 1.31 1.05 0.86 0.72 0.61

150 11.3 1.34 1.08 0.90 0.75 0.64

175 13.0 1.37 1.11 0.92 0.78 0.66

200 14.8 1.39 1.14 0.95 0.80 0.68 5
White Paper: Ambient Airs Impact on Compressed Air System Performance

In Europe, ISO standard flow rating Example: Figure 2 shows what

II. Proper Ventilation to
conditions are a bit more practical occurs when refrigerated air dryers
Remove Heat from the
setting standard ambient temperature are sized with unrealistic dryer
Compressor Room(s)
at 77 F, inlet temperature at 95 F, and inlet temperatures. As the ambient
pressure at 103 psig (7 bar). temperatures climb and the air cooled Often the actual operating ambient
after-coolers become less efficient, conditions are dictated by the ventilation
the dryer inlet climbs from 100 F to (or lack there-of) in the compressor
Standard Conditions for
120 F or higher and, in this example, room(s) in the plant. The serious
Refrigerated Dryer Flow Ratings
for a 38 F Pressure Dewpoint the pressure dewpoint rises from issues created by poor ventilation can
North 40 F to +77 F basically delivering include negative pressure (low ambient
America Europe wet air to the plant air system. It is pressure), high ambient temperatures,
Ambient 100 F 25 C not uncommon to see refrigerated and the high potential for compressor
Temp. (38 C) (77 F) inlet contamination. These issues are
dryers experiencing 130 F inlet air
100 F 35 C temperatures. This why one often not site-created (like elevation), they
Inlet Temp.
(38 C) (95 F) are man-made and can always be
hears, the dryer works ok except
Inlet 100 psig 7 bar in hot weather! eliminated. Their negative impact is
Pressure (7.9 bar) (103 psig) significant with regards to the energy

Figure 2: Focus on Ambient and Inlet Temperatures When Sizing Refrigerated Dryers

cost, performance and reliability of the cases, it is suggested the plant utilize
compressed air system. the services of a professional HVAC Cfm 585,580
engineer. However, to get a general cooling = 54,220 cfm
Figures 3 and 4 show two of the air = 10.8
idea of what is required to ventilate the
most common forms of compressor compressor room (without refrigerated
room ventilation. These and variants air conditioning) to a certain degree The cooling fan of a typical 200 hp
of these will all work. The first step level above the surrounding ambient lubricant-cooled, rotary compressor
is what is the total heat load in the temperature, use the following: will probably move about 20,000 cfm
compressor room? (565.23 M3) of cooling air out, leaving
Cfm cooling air required to ventilate a an additional high potential required
Compressor drive motor cooling air flow of about 35,000 cfm.
room and hold a 10 F level above the
Fan motor/pump motor surrounding ambient air temperature.
Dryer heater This is based on a full exchange of air. There are variables that may drive this
answer somewhat lower (or higher).
Blower motor
Typical commercial 200 hp class air The main point is when an air-cooled,
Refrigeration drive motors
cooled, lubricant-cooled rotary screw: lubricant-cooled, rotary screw uses
Variable speed drives ductwork to take the cooling air out
Other operating equipment of the room, an additional room air
Cfm (sensible heat) (btu/hr)
cooling exchanger will be required. Water-
Total horsepower times 2546 btu/hour
air = 1.08 (T1-T2 temperature rise) cooled units will generally reject less
will provide an approximate estimated
heat to the room than air-cooled.
btu/hr heat load. Do not use Bhp
Cfm (230 hp) 2546 btu/hr
(compressor shaft) motor nameplate, cooling
get actual input horsepower. In most air = 1.08 x 10

Control Compressor Room Temperatures to between 40 F (min) and 100 F (max)

Figure 3: Side-Wall Inlet and Side-Wall Outlet Ventilation Figure 4: Roof Inlet and Roof Outlet Ventilation and Make-up Air Flow
and Make-up Air Flow 7
White Paper: Ambient Airs Impact on Compressed Air System Performance

ducting, similar to Figure 3, where Airborne Particle Contamination

heated cooling air was dumped back
Airborne particle contamination
into the compressor room to keep it
is usually a very straightforward
warm with thermostatically controlled
contaminant that is often ignored.
louvers and the improper ducting was
The compressor OEM installs an inlet
reconfigured. Proper make-up air was
air filter usually rated for standard
allowed back in and the operating
conditions which most often means
ambient pressure returned to 14.2
99% removal of all particulate 5 micron
psia. The 60 hp air compressor was no
and larger and 95% removal of all
longer needed, the six months a year
particulate 3 micron and larger.
Figure 5: Monitor Outlet Cooling Air Temperatures of cold weather (4350 hours/year) and
for Flow Restrictions the electric power energy savings was Normal life of these elements is
(51 kW)($.11/kWh) x 4350 hours/year expected to be two months to six
Figure 5 shows improper ducting. = $24,400/year. The total project cost months. When high dust applications
Note the ducting on the 200 hp air was $12,800. are encountered (such as at corrugator
compressor was restricting the flow of plants, mineral processing), the high-
In summary, wherever the compressors
the cooling air out causing a 9 F rise in dust levels will usually be quite visible
are operating, the plant operations
inlet temperature over the 95 F room and a high-dust version of the inlet filter
personnel should be aware of the
temperature. The room temperature is used which normally includes a pre-
actual operating ambient conditions.
was 95 F when the outside ambient cleaning area where the heavier dust
Are they optimum? Remember, in order
temperature was 45 F (T 50 F) and loads fall out and are removed before
to measure psia, a vacuum gauge
three walls of the room were outside. they get to the main filter element.
is needed.
There were two 200 hp compressors
Example: The major (and not so
with similar installation and one smaller
obvious) problem with compressor
60 hp trim unit recently added that was III. Compressor Inlet-Air
inlet air is not the visible high dust but
ducted correctly. Contaminants; Solid Particles,
when the inlet air ambient area has
Aggressive Vapors/Gases,
In order to hold the room temperature very small fines (<3 microns smaller)
and Oil Mists
higher, very little make-up air was which pass through the standard filters.
As production machinery and
brought into the room. The net result A good example of this was a plant
processes continue to evolve, more
was a significantly negative pressure manufacturing automotive catalytic
and more industries are requiring
of 12.2 psia when the outside ambient converters. The process filled the
cleaner and drier air for both
pressure was 14.3 psia. Basically, ambient area with a high concentration
machinery reliability and product
the room now seemed to be located of very small fines. These fines passed
integrity. As line-speeds and
in Denver, Colorado. This resulted in through the inlet filter and shortened
productivity continue to accelerate,
an approximately 14% reduction in the normal 1-2 year separator life (of a
anything that stops production or
available compressed air. lubricated rotary screw air compressor)
significantly slows it down can have
to two months. The first attempt to fix
In this example, the plant was running very expensive after-effects. Product
this was an oil bath filter which didnt
all three compressor units 24 hours a contamination can lead to expensive
do a good job because it only wetted
day. Modifications were made to the scrap levels, and even worse, brand-
the screen properly at high flows the
damaging product recalls.

compressor was at modulation control Aggressive Caustic or Acidic appears to be very spacious in a
with constantly varying flows, and at Vapor That May Become crowded plant. Often it becomes a
low loads everything passed through Aggressive Once Inside storeroom for various plant supplies.
even worse resulting in as low as the Compressor It is not unusual to see such items as
a one-month separator life. Aggressive airborne vapors and gases water cooler cleaners (usually acid),
are often overlooked and hard to find. and water treatment supplies stored
The final fix was a high quality, in or near the compressor and dryer
Depending upon the situation, they
oversized dry filter with an oil wetted ambient air.
can do very expensive damage. Some
pre-filter screen. The screen was kept
of the more well-known aggressive
oil wetted by a pneumatically aspirated Example: A soft drink syrup plant was
vapor contaminants (such as flourides
oil spray. It was effective in trapping the experiencing a great deal of problems
and chlorides) are usually avoided
fines and had to be manually cleaned with the extremely short life of the food
by location as well as such items as
about once a week. With this, the grade lubricant coolant (PAO) of the air
cleaning acids, caustics, etc. However,
separator problem went away. compressor. It was found that water
in many cases the compressor room,
treatment chemicals were being stored
Apart from the obvious damage particularly when well-designed,
with open containers right next to the
particulates can do when introduced
inside an air compressor, there is
the outside fouling or plugging of
all air-cooled heat exchangers such
as oil/coolant air coolers, air-cooled
aftercoolers, electric motor-cooling, and
air-cooled condensers on refrigerated
air dryers. Many air compressor
units are packaged in full sound and
ambient controlled enclosures. When
this is the case, all incoming cooling
air and inlet air to the compressor
can be pre-filtered with material and
methods appropriate to the identified
contaminants before they enters the
compressor package (see Figure 8).

The same panel type or air handling

room filtration can be applied to total
compressor room pre-filtration much
as seen now in many laboratory and
even powder paint installations. The
simplest action of all is to identify the
source of the contaminant and either
eliminate or move the source, or move
the location or area, from the inlet and
cooling air source.
OSP 37 kW Next Series 9
White Paper: Ambient Airs Impact on Compressed Air System Performance

Evaluating a compressed air system

ambient location is very critical
to energy efficient operation and
operating reliability. This topic is
also something that maintenance
personnel should address to be ensure
continuous awareness.

Airborne Oil Mist Contamination

Airborne oil mist contamination is
another contaminant often overlooked.
If the negative impact on the product
integrity and/or operating equipment,
particularly air cooled coolers, shows
up early it can create a lot of problems
unless identified and corrected.

Remember that the contaminant vapor

or gas comes in with the air at a certain
concentration. As the inlet air and
contaminant vapor is compressed to
a smaller volume, the concentration
of the contaminant is increased.
Hydrocarbons entering through the
75 kW Air-cooled Rotary Screw Air Compressor Cooling Air Flow
compressor inlets and migrating
compressor. After further investigation, compressor. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is through to product contamination
it was determined this to be the basic a very common transient vapor or (food, paint, etc) can come from many
cause and the plant was warned that gas in many plants. The most common sources including:
there would be an excellent chance sources are wash stations and battery
An outside plant wall on a
that further damage would be incurred changers. If this gas or vapor enters
parking lot or roadway with
to critical internal parts of the air the air compressor where it becomes
constant automotive exhaust
compressor. concentrated along with the always
present water vapor (H2O), it can and Operating forklifts in the area
Plant personnel did not agree until it often does combine into H2SO4 where the engine exhaust is
was pointed out, that all copper pipe sulfuric acid which then attacks taken into the compressor
was now green from exposure to the internal parts of the compressor
ambient air. Once the chemicals were Furnace or other similar
such as the aftercooler, drains, dryer,
exhaust flue air migrating to
removed, the problem disappeared. etc and particularly black iron pipe.
the compressor area ambient
This is a common enough problem
Plants must also look out for benign
that it bears special attention on Obviously this list could go on and
vapors that can easily become
a continuing basis. on, but what is to be done if you cant
aggressive once inside the air

avoid or eliminate the oil mist after the designed to adsorb the identified vapor of risk, you may want to change filters
source is identified? contaminants after the compressed air on a predetermined regular basis or
dryer and primary filters problem install a trace measurement system
The quickest and most practical way solved. Depending on the magnitude downstream to alert. Most if not all
is to install an appropriate carbon filter,

Patented Closed-Loop Gear Case Oil-Mist Removal System

A patented process exists to eliminate the risk of air One to three cfm of compressed air is regulated through
compressor sump oil mist being reintrained by the a venturi. The venturi pulls a vacuum on the gearcase and
compressor intake. Hitachi oil-free rotary screw air pulls the oil mist into a coalescing filter. The oil is removed
compressors do not vent oil mist to atmosphere. This from the bottom of the housing, by a float trap, and
patented process creates a closed-loop gear case oil returned to the gear case.
mist removal system that recycles the oil to the gear case.

The Hitachi Patented Closed-Cycle Oil Mist Removal System U.S. P 05011388. 11

If the oil mist is allowed to become In reality, there are two ambients
a viable part of the ambient air it will to consider:
enter the compressor through the
Nature the elevation and
inlet, become concentrated and go
general atmospheric condition.
through the compressors, which, in
The plant has no control of
an oil free compressor there is no oil
elevation and outside ambient
separation system and then enter
temperature. These conditions
the air system in varying levels of
are truly dynamic and changing
contamination. This could overwhelm
on a continual basis. Plant
a dryer filter system originally designed personnel have to understand
Figure 9: Air cylinders, air tools, air motors, and for oil free discharge air. them and their impact on
exhaust air are a common source of oil mist and
solid particulate contaminants equipment performance
A new closed loop, gear case, oil mist
and efficiency and operate
recovery system has been introduced
of these type of filters will not have a accordingly.
to the market, in an oil-free screw
physical signal (like measurable change
compressor, to address and eliminate The internal plant operating
is P pressure loss) when the filter
this issue (see diagram on page 11). ambient conditions can be very
is saturated.
hostile. In fact, more hostile
99.99% of the oil mist is than nature. These conditions
Many oil mist ambient contamination
reported to be removed from were created by people and in
problems are easy to observe and
the vent air most cases are correctable.
correct such as the cylinder exhaust
on an automotive fender (Figure 9). The removed oil is collected Understanding and managing
Others are much harder to find such and returned to the gear case equipment inlet air pressure and
as oil mist coming from crankcase and temperature, ensuring proper
The gear case is kept in
gearbox vents in various compressor compressor room ventilation, and
negative pressure to allow
drive systems. managing airborne particulates,
no outward oil migration
caustic gases and oil mists, will have
Most conventional crankcase gearbox
This unit appears to be much a direct impact on the reliability and
vent systems will have some type of less prone to early fouling and quality of a compressed air system.
baffle or filter aglomerator to capture allow excessive crankcase
and collect the oil mist coming from pressure build up For more information, please contact
the case. This amount will vary by Mr. Nitin G. Shanbhag, Senior
Manager, Air Technology Group,
drive case pressures. These types of Conclusion
Hitachi America, tel: 704-972-9871,
aglomerators will range from relatively Ambient conditions cannot be ignored email:,
crude to very sophisticated but they in order for a compressed air system to
all rely heavily on mechanical tapping deliver high quality, reliable, compressed
and careful and timely maintenance. air in an energy efficient manner.


Air Technology Group

6901 Northpark Blvd, Suite A

Charlotte, NC 28216
Tel: 704.494.3008

Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems, Co., Ltd.