Compressor Intake

By 3 May 2018

The intake system must be designed with a low pressure drop in mind, that is with a limit on the air intake velocities. At the same time, intake flow should be smooth rather than pulsating, as this will appreciably reduce intake noise and resonance effects.

Low pressure drop is ensured by sizing the intake pipes such that the flow velocity is no more than:

5 to 6 m/s in the case of single-acting compressors
6 to 7 m/s in the case of double-acting compressors

Combined with a venturi-type intake silencer these intake velocities can be increased by up to 10%. A typical arrangement is shown in Figure 1.

Proper consideration must be given to the ventilation of the compressor house to dissipate the heat generated by the compressor and driver. This is particularly important in air-cooled units. With water-cooled compressors, or air-cooled compressors with water-cooled intercoolers, the amount of radiant heat to be dissipated is usually negligible since the majority of the heat is carried away by the cooling water.