A compressed air distribution system facilitates the delivery of air for a required application. Two types of systems are available to deliver the compressed air needs of a facility — a centralized air compressor system or a decentralized air compressor system. In choosing between these compressed air systems, there are several factors to consider. Below, we’ll take a look at each type of system, and provide tips on how to choose the right one based on your requirements.
Centralized Air Compressor Systems
The centralized air compressor system consists of a central compressed air system installation, where large air compressors and dryers located in one area provide compressed air for the entire facility. This type of air compressor system installation is facilitated through extensive pipe and ductwork, and distributes air to every department where it is needed.
Advantages of the centralized air compressor system include:
- Lower costs — In general, a centralized compressor system will require less equipment, and the installation of distribution piping costs less than installing smaller compressor units throughout the facility.
- Easier logistics — Only a single area must be addressed for issues such as noise reduction.
- Easier monitoring — Only one system must be monitored, rather than several smaller ones.
Decentralized Air Compressor Systems
Decentralized air compressor systems consist of several smaller compressors and dryers installed at or near the facility location where air is needed. A decentralized system requires less extensive piping, because air is compressed and generated at each location.
Advantages of decentralized compressor systems include:
- Ability to customize the type of air delivered — If, for example, some applications require oil-free air, but some do not, a decentralized system can easily meet both needs.
- Less risk of pressure drops — In extensive centralized systems, pressure drops may occur during peak usage. Decentralized systems are able to more effectively account for and eliminate these drops.
- Less risk of undetected leakage — Since the distribution channels for decentralized systems are much shorter and more localized, leaks can be identified and repaired quickly. In a centralized system, leaks may go undetected, leading to wasted energy.
Choosing the Right System for You
The list below details some of the typical considerations when installing a compressed air system, and how the two types of systems stack up:
Cost — In general, a centralized system will provide lower overall costs than a decentralized system.
Maintenance — A decentralized system often will be easier to maintain because it requires less piping. However, a decentralized system may also be more time-consuming to maintain due to the greater number of compressors.
Customization — Decentralized systems are able to more easily provide different grades of air.
Logistics — A centralized air compressor system will be easier to set up and outfit for noise reduction or other necessities. It also will require less planning, since most equipment is located in one area.
Monitoring — With only one network cable and area to monitor, centralized systems are easier to track.
Kaishan Compressor USA offers a full line of air compressors and dryers for both compressor systems — and we are available to assist you in selecting the right equipment for you. Contact us for more information.