- Michael Xu
- Issue Time
- Dec 29,2021
What preparations should be made for low-pressure screw air compressors in the cold winter?
How does low temperature affect the compressor system?
The sudden drop in temperature in winter may cause short-term and long-term damage to the air compressor. For example, freezing condensate, which can clog/rupture key components in large compressor systems. Other components, such as control lines, drain valves, compressed air filters, and heat exchangers are also at risk of freezing and cracking. Other potential damages caused by cold ambient temperatures include:
The air compressor cannot be started
Is there a rotary screw compressor that cannot be started in a cold environment? This is most likely due to a low ambient air temperature limit switch (many screw compressors are equipped with this switch), which prevents the compressor from starting when the ambient temperature is below 4°C.
Air compressor oil thickens
The lower the temperature, the thicker the oil! Thicker compressor oil results in reduced lubrication capacity, which means more power is required to operate the compression pump. Please pay attention to this-if this situation continues for a long time, the life of the motor may be shortened.
The working efficiency of the refrigerated air dryer is too high
The refrigerated air dryer has a risk of over-operating in winter conditions; when the moisture in the compressed air is pumped out, it will freeze and damage the larger drying system.
The drying capacity of the dryer is reduced
The humid air may freeze in the dryer pipes, causing the tower switching valve to fail. The exhaust purification muffler may also freeze, which will result in a reduction in the purification air flow.
Corrosion of components
Since air dryers work less efficiently at colder temperatures, there is a greater possibility of increased condensate in the entire compressor system. As time goes by and humidity continues to increase, internal components are more prone to rust and corrosion.
How should we prepare for the cold winter?
Be prepared for the cold winter
//Drain the condensate
Condensate is a common phenomenon in air compressors. It forms in the system and settles in low places, including gas storage tanks. In winter, untreated condensate may freeze and burst pipes.
In winter and other months of the year, it is important to check the fuel tank several times a week to ensure that condensation does not occur. Even if a small amount of moisture has accumulated, drain it immediately. Whenever a large amount of moisture appears within a few days, it may be a sign of a worse situation in the system. You can also consider installing an automatic drain valve; this is a small fix, but it can be prevented.
//Anti-freeze treatment for external pipes and condensate drain pipes
If the temperature in your area is expected to drop to freezing point, please put heat tracing tape on the exposed parts of all drain pipes, which will prevent them from freezing.
//Chilled water and frozen oil
When the temperature drops below the freezing point, many problems arise, the most disturbing of which are water and oil. The oil temperature should be monitored and adjusted; otherwise, the oil may drop to a low temperature level, making it impossible to lubricate or seal the machine. Refrigerating oil can also cause the compressor to malfunction or stop working altogether.
//Keep the compressor warm
If the compressor is located in an unheated room, a small heater can provide additional heat.