Month: May 2017
FS-Curtis and Arizona Air Compressor are proud to be the sponsor of Matt Ludlow aka Coldwater Kid. Check out some behind the scenes footage of the Coldwater Kid and the whole Top Fuel Race Team.
The Coldwater Kid Top Fuel team is heading into their seventh season of competition in sand drag racing. The Family operated team from Litchfield Park, Arizona is owned by Dwight Ludlow with his son Matthew piloting the 300” nitro-burning Top Fueler. They are three-time Dome Valley Top Fuel Shootout champions (2009, 2011, and 2013). At the 2013 Dome Valley March Madness event, Matthew piloted the Hemi-powered Fueler to his career best pass with a sizzling 2.301/162MPH blast. They also recorded the Quickest Run for Top Fuel in the 2011 race season with a 2.308/158MPH run in the final round of that season's Dome Valley Top Fuel Shootout. This team has also been featured on SPEED Channel's "Lucas Oil On The Edge" & Fox Sports Net's "Race Freaks" TV Shows during the Inaugural Dirt 300 Nitro Nationals in Albuquerque, NM. At this event, the Coldwater Kid team earned a solid runner-up finish.
Thanks you to the Coldwater Kid Racing Team (Matthew Ludlow (Driver), Dwight & Marie Ludlow (Car Owners), John Aleman (Crew Chief), and Jim Green / Charlie Starns (Crew)
Compressor controls are designed to match compressor delivery with compressed air demand, by maintaining the compressor discharge pressure within a highly specified range. This discharge pressure should be set as low as possible to minimize the energy usage.
Compressor systems are typically composed of multiple compressors delivering air to a common plant air header. The combined capacity of these machines is generally sized to meet the maximum plant air demand. System controls are needed to orchestrate a reduction in the output of the individual compressors during the times of having lower demand. Compressed air systems are usually designed to operate within a fixed pressure range to deliver a volume of air that varies with system demand. System pressure is monitored so that the control system decreases compressor output when the pressure reaches a predetermined level. Compressor output is then increased again when the pressure drops to a lower predetermined level.
There are 6 basic types of individual compressor controls that a person has to take into account when looking into purchasing and using air compression:
- Turns the motor which drives the compressor on or off in response to a pressure signal (seen on reciprocating and rotary compressors)
- Allows the motor to run constantly, but unloads the compressor when a predetermined pressure is reached. The compressor reloads at a predetermined lower discharge pressure. This is also sometimes referred to as constant speed or constant run control (seen on reciprocating, rotary, and centrifugal compressors).
- Restricts passage of air to the compressor to progressively reduce compressor output to a specified minimum, when the compressor is then unloaded. This is also referred to as throttling or capacity control (seen on rotary and centrifugal compressors).
- This controller is commonly seen in small reciprocating compressors, allows the selection of either Start/Stop or Load/Unload. When used in a lubricant-injected rotary compressor it provides modulation or load/unload control to a preset reduced capacity. When unloading the addition of an over-run timer will stop the compressor after running unloaded for a preset time.
- This controller allows progressive reduction of the compressor displacement without reducing the channel opening (seen on reciprocating and rotary compressors).
- This controller adjusts the compressor capacity by varying the speed of the electric motor driving the compressor in response to system signals.
Learn more about the these six basic compressor controllers and more about other FS Curtis products
With high summer temperatures fast approaching please make sure your rotary compressor is prepared for the change in climate. Here are 4 tips to keep your rotary compression at peak performance for the summer.
- Lubricant and Coolant Levels
Is your lubricant and coolant low? Is it due for a fluid and filters service? Please note that running FS-Curtis synthetic fluids will reduce the heat generated by your compressor. The compressor oil serves as coolant in oil flooded rotary compressors. In rotary compressors, the compressor oil is circulated 7 or more times per minute through the machine. This is why oil levels become more critical in the summer. To be sure of the condition of your air-end and bearings we recommend an oil analysis by a distributor.
- Air Density
In the summer your compressor will have a lower performance. Make sure you install a new intake filter for the hot summer days. Please be aware that dirtier environments require more frequent intake air filter changes.
- Having Clean Compressor Air and Oil Coolers
A clean cooler may be the difference between normal operation and a high temperature shut down. Many times synthetic compressor oils are fruitless because the oil breaks down prematurely due to overheating. To protect from high acid numbers, loss of lubricity and increased viscosity, long oil change intervals must be monitored with frequent lube analysis, particularly when exposed to high ambient temperatures. Please contact your local FS-Curtis service company for a compressor “health” check.
- Hot Ambient Air and Moisture
Most lubricated, air cooled, rotary screw compressors run 100 to 110 degrees F above the ambient temperature. If your compressor room temperature is over 100 degrees F, you are already in trouble. Cross flow ventilation is advisable in non ducted compressors. If your compressor oil sump or air-end discharge is more than 120 degrees F over ambient temperature in the room, you need to find out why. FS Curtis has factory approved Air Treatment accessories to minimize moisture in your system and air lines.
Small adjustments can reduce your operating pressure and energy costs while improving flow rates and output. Learn the final steps you can take to optimize your compressed air system and save energy costs. But, make sure that you also check out the first 5 things you can learn to "Save your Compressed Air System Operating Costs"
- Review Piping Infrastructure. Many systems aren't optimized.
A piping system design should optimize transfer of compressed air at the desired flow and pressure to the point of use. Increasing the size of a pipe from two to three inches can reduce pressure drop up to 50 percent. Shortening the distance air has to travel can further reduce pressure drops by about 20-40 percent.
The more flow through a pipe the greater the pressure drop will be. Pressure drop in a pipe increases with the square increase in flow, which means if the flow is doubled, the pressure drop will increase four times. Air distribution piping should be large enough in diameter to minimize pressure drop.
If your compressed air piping system was installed years ago when your compressor was much smaller, this might be an indication that the distribution pipes are too small. A quick guide is to look at the air compressor outlet size. If your distribution piping is smaller than your air compressor outlet size, then it may be time to get your FS-Curtis distributor in to evaluate your piping system. If up-grades are needed, FS-Curtis offers a modular, aluminum piping system that is easy to install and is a cost effective alternative to copper or steel piping.
- Change Filters Systematically. Not every once in a while.
Inspect and replace filters systematically to ensure the quality of your air and prevent pressure drops. Go beyond the air compressor and compressor room. There are several air-line and point-of-use filters within the facility. Those are just as important to maintain as the air compressor and air compressor room filters.
Your FS-Curtis distributor will provide you with a complete Filter Package located on your compressed air system supply side. Your process and type of equipment used will determine the level of air quality needed. If you are not sure what you need, ask your FS-Curtis distributor who can guide your selection using an industry standard selection chart.
- Recover Heat. Compressing air generates heat - reuse it!
It's simple physics that compressing air gives off heat, and as much as 90 percent of that heat can be recovered for use in your operation. For example, you can produce hot water for washrooms or direct warm air into a work space, warehouse, loading dock, or entryway. The savings can really add up.
How can FS-Curtis features and benefits help with this step? A simple heat recovery step can be making sure the hot air from your compressor room is directed into a nearby work space. If you have a larger rotary screw compressor with e-COOL® Technology, you could capture the exhaust air from your air compressor and ducting into your facility during the heating season. More aggressive heat recovery systems can be used to pre-heat water or process materials if you operate larger compressor systems.
- Emphasize Proper Maintenance. Ignoring maintenance costs more.
As with most industrial machinery, a compressor runs more efficiently when properly maintained. Proper compressor maintenance cuts energy costs around one percent and helps prevent breakdowns that result in downtime and lost production. Protect your reputation and profits with proper maintenance.
Your FS-Curtis i-Command® Touch Control will help monitor your compressor for items needing maintenance as well as sending signals showing maintenance alerts. Having your FS-Curtis distributor establish a scheduled service interval based on the number of hours your compressor runs per year will save you money in the long run. Take advantage of your extended warranty by using correct parts and lubricants at the correct time. If you skip service and have maintenance done, then you can expect that future warranty claims may be rejected. Just like you car, if you don’t take care of it, it won’t take care of you!
- Identify and Eliminate Inappropriate Uses of Compressed Air.
Inappropriate uses of compressed air include any application that can be done more effectively or more efficiently by a method other than compressed air. For example, high pressure air often is used for cooling or applications where much lower air pressure is required.
If you have a Compressed Air Leak Survey scheduled, the Auditor normally is looking for inappropriate uses of compressed air at the same time. Common missuses are: blowing off a work station with an air gun instead of using a hand brush; using an air stream as a personal cooler instead of a fan; plus many, many more ways.