Key Features And Types Of Air Compressors


    Air compressors are mechanical devices that convert power, typically from electric motors, gasoline or diesel engines, into kinetic energy. In this article, we will cover the key features of an air compressor.

    The vital components of an air compressor comprise of an engine, a compressor pump, a tank to store compressed air, and various valves, gauges, and safety mechanisms. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how an air compressor works:

    Air Intake: The process begins with the air compressor drawing atmospheric air through an intake valve. This air is typically filtered to remove contaminants like dust and moisture.

    Compression: Once inside the compressor, the air is compressed. The electric motor or internal combustion engine powers the compressor pump, reducing the air volume while increasing its pressure. This is typically achieved using several compression methods, including reciprocating (piston-type), rotary screw, or centrifugal compression.

    Storage: The compressed air is then directed into a storage tank or reservoir, where it is stored until needed. The tank serves as a buffer, ensuring a constant supply of compressed air even if demand fluctuates.

    Regulation: Various valves, regulators, and pressure switches control the air pressure within the tank and regulate the compressed air flow to the connected devices or systems.

    Usage: The stored compressed air can be utilized for many applications. It can power pneumatic tools, such as impact wrenches, nail guns, and sandblasters, or it can be used in industrial processes like painting, metalworking, and manufacturing. Air compressors are employed in residential settings for tasks like inflating car tires, sports equipment, and even hobbyist airbrushing.

    Safety: Safety mechanisms, such as relief valves, are in place to prevent the air pressure from exceeding safe levels. Additionally, air compressors are equipped with safety features like automatic shutoff switches and pressure gauges to monitor and control the pressure within the tank.

    Types of Air Compressors

    Various air compressors are available, each designed to cater to specific needs and applications. This diverse array of air compressors determines the air compressor price in Kenya. The primary categories of air compressors comprise:

    Rotary Screw Compressors: These compressors employ two helical screws that rotate to compress air. They are known for their efficiency and are often used in continuous-duty industrial applications.

    Centrifugal Compressors: These compressors use a high-speed impeller to accelerate air, which is then converted into pressure energy. They are ideal for large-scale industrial processes and high-volume applications.

    Axial Compressors: Axial compressors are typically used in aircraft engines and power plants. They use multiple rotating blades to compress air in a continuous flow.

    Scroll Compressors: Scroll compressors use two spiral-shaped scrolls to compress air. They are compact, efficient, and commonly used in residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

    Reciprocating (Piston) Compressors: These compressors use one or more pistons driven by a crankshaft to compress air. They are commonly found in small to medium-sized applications in single-stage (one compression cycle) and two-stage (two compression cycles) variants.


    In conclusion, air compressors come in various types and sizes, ranging from small portable models for home use to large industrial units. The choice of an air compressor depends on the specific requirements of the task at hand, including the required pressure, air volume, and mobility.