How to size an Air Receiver

I've heard so many rules of thumb over the years, it was interesting to find this excerpt from the Carbon Trust suggests the following..
The size of an air receiver will depend on the amount of fluctuation in air demand. In most cases an adequately sized receiver will be able to supply the extra air during a high demand period and then recharge when the demand drops off. This function allows the air compressor to be sized for the average demand, rather than for the maximum demand. In some cases when the fluctuation is too great, a solution can be to have a smaller compressor that can ‘kick in’ as required.
There are a number of formulae for calculating the storage volume required. However, the following empirical rule can provide an approximation for planning purposes, taking into account the compressor (s) output and the pattern of demand.
The Air receiver should be sized (in Litres) to be at least 6 – 10 times the compressor free air output (in litres/s)
It is also worth considering the following: • To provide optimum performance, the receiver should be sized for the largest expected air demand event. • An undersized receiver will cause the compressor to cycle frequently in response to small changes in pressure. • An oversized receiver will cost more and will store more air, but it will require the compressor to remain on load for longer periods to recharge the air receiver. This is balanced by the extra time the compressor will have to cool before it must come on load again. • The volume of the pipe work is often significant but is not included in the calculations. • An effective control system will ensure that the receiver volume balances the demand from the system with the supply from the compressor.
For more info on Air Receivers - and where to get them ex stock and built to real UK standards....visit and sizing....... http://www.air-receivers.co.uk/air_receivers.htm and http://www.air-receivers.co.uk/pressure_vessels.htm
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One major international compressor manufacturer recommends one receiver (with extensive condensate drain) of about 1/8 the output volume in a minute on the compressor side of the filter, and one sized as you say downstream of them. That way the filtration is not a hindrance for meeting air demands.
Of course their compressors modulate infinitely... from "0" to full output.
David A. Smith
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Appealing to any sort of moral code does not work. Ministering the words of Jesus Christ (or was it Paul?) did not work. So let's try this... http://www.churchofsatan.com /
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