Kaeser SX-5 air compressor

Hi, all. On Site Gas systems is proposing a nitrogen gas generating system for our selective soldering machines. We are using tanks of medical grade nitrogen right now.

The proposal replaces our existing air compressor with a Kaeser model SX-5 AirCenter, 5HP, rotary screw compressor. A refrigerated air dryer is part of the compressor. Our existing compressor is a 13 year old 4 cylinder Speedair single stage from Grainger. It is rather noisy, even though I built a sound absorbing enclosure around it.

My questions are does anyone have any experience with the German made compressor and what type of noise does the screw compressor make?

Any help is very much appreciated.

Paul Drahn, President Jodeco, Inc.

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Paul Drahn
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On 9/27/2012 2:43 PM, Paul Drahn wrote: ...

No direct experience, no, sorry. But--

I don't see a SX-5 Aircenter but a 4 kW Aircenter 6 is listed at 61 dB. But, perhaps there's a US set as well I don't know.

I'd recommend contacting the Kaeser rep directly if you can't get all the data you want/need from OnSite (that would make me consider another vendor or at least pull their chain).


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Your wallet will be making the "I am screwed" noise when you will be paying bills.

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Screw compressors are usually a lot quieter inherently - because they soundproof them on purpose, or they'd make a whine/moan. Instead of pistons and cylinders and the chugging... it's basically a GMC 6-71 style Roots Blower driven by an electric motor.

It is better for your bottom line, too - Screw Compressors are usually operated in Unloader mode, they run all day and just kick the compressor in and out as needed. (Switch it off Unloader and into Start-Stop when you go home for the night and over the weekend. Or just Off and let the Speedaire catch it.)

On a 5-HP the main benefit is longer motor life without all the stopping and starting that burns the windings - but on the bigger 10 -

25 - 50 HP ones where your factory is on a Demand {Power Meter system, eliminating all the Start Surges during the day and cutting the Demand Factor adder on your power bill is a huge benefit.

Though I would have them install the new compressor and the N2 Generation System in the same corner as the Speedaire with room deliberately left around it, so you can build another sound cover if it's too noisy for you. Or better yet, wall off that whole corner of the factory into a separate little room - Which is better, because you can ventilate that room to the outside and keep the equipment a lot cooler.

And KEEP the other compressor, now you have a backup. For best results, hook up a few valves so either machine can feed both the N2 Generators and the Shop Air lines to the workbenches, and you can keep going if one fails.

(Though you may have to tell your people to ration air if the Speedaire can't keep up...)

Leave room around the compressors and N2 Generators and it's receiver tank, and rig the piping and wiring so you can get one piece of the puzzle out and replace it with the other still running. You don't want to pay me overtime for coming in after hours, and you don't want your people sitting idle while I work on the air system.

You rig the Air Dryers and Filters with a three-valve Bypass so they can be serviced or swapped with the air system hot too, same reason.

The N2 Generator people might not like you feeding their machine with a piston compressor, but it's for emergencies. If you put a refrigerated dryer and a oil-coalescing filter on the output line from the Speedaire too, they really can't say much.


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Bruce L. Bergman (munged human readable)

Kaeser is VERY good equipment. I see and service a fair amount of it in So. Cal and my impression is that its in the top 3 screw compressor makers.

And they are well sound proofed.


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