What is a compressor? Why do we need compression?
A compressor is a mechanical device used to raise the pressure of fluids (gases and liquids). It takes a definite amount of fluid and delivers it at required high pressure. Its working is similar to the pumps. The compressor unit stores the compressed fluid in an integrated reservoir having a regulation mechanism for controlling output pressure.
Read: Differences between compressor and pump
Applications of compressorCompression has various applications. It is widely used in the industrial and domestic application.
- Overcome the flow losses - Flowing fluid experience frictional loss. Pressure is increased to overcome such losses.
- Static elevation of the fluid - Pressurize fluid to elevate fluid from one attitude to another.
- Power source - Compressed air possess pressure energy, this energy can be used later. This is helpful in a hazardous environment, e.g., in mines, the compressed air used to operate the machines.
- Small-volume storage of fluids - Some manufactured/ purified gases require compression to fill in the cylinder. e.g., O2 for medical purposes, acetylene for welding, LPG, diving cylinder, etc.
- Various manufacturing processes require compressed air to power pneumatic tools and hydraulic tools such as a jackhammer. They are used to blow molding (plastic bottles), for sand blasting.
- For pressurizing aircraft cabin at high altitude.
- In refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.
- Turbocharger and supercharger used in the vehicle are actually air compressor that increases the performance of IC engines.
- Some other uses compressed air systems are - spray painting, nail gun, hyperbaric oxygen therapy.