Air compressor is an important piece of machinery onboard and if checks are done on it in a timely manner, it will help machine to run for a longer duration and time between the overhauls will increase. Although checks are very basic for this time of machinery, but they are quite important.
Air Compressor Checks- Important Ones
Following checks to be done on the compressor:
Check that the flow of cooling water is sufficient and have a constant flow. You can check the flow by indicator glass given at the outlet.
Usually LT water of the ship is used for such machinery.
In both service or main air compressor, oil level is to be maintained properly. But oil should not be filled too much as the carryover can be too much.
Oil grade should be same as given by the manufacturer. Oil grade is different for both service air compressor and main air compressor.
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Coupling or Belt and Foundation
This one from the motor to compressor must be checked. A defective belt or coupling will hamper the effective power transmitted from motor to the compressor.
Also if coupling or belt is being damaged frequently, that means motor and pump are not aligned properly.
Foundation of the machine needs to be checked, bolts and spacer are to be checked for proper location.
In case of belt drive, check the slackness or tightness of the same. It is very important for efficient transmission of power from motor.
Valves and gauges
Make sure that lines are set from the compressor to the air reservoir. All the necessary gauges to be checked for working.
Note: Running a compressor with discharge valve closed can have serious damage to the machinery and personal around.
Auto Drain Is working
Check that the auto drain, which removes the water or any kind of liquid carryover is working properly. There are mostly the causes of failure of the compressor.
Also the if oil is coming too much in the drain, that means the oil separator element is not working properly.
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Ventilation around the compressors should be adequate and should always be on. Also make sure that the filter of the ventilation is clean and does not let the dirty air to come inside.
Amperage And Noise
Amperage of the motor to be checked time to time, this will indicate that the motor condition is good and there is nothing wrong with bearing (mostly).
Also hear the noises that come from the compressor. Any unusual noise indicates that the machine is not working properly and needs attention.
Keep an eye on the pressure generated by this machine. A lower pressure indicates that the screw or piston are leaking the compressed air. This can be because of increase in the clearance of the mating or moving parts.
This is among the very important consumption to be checked. More consumption of oil indicated that the clearances have increased or the oil separator is not working efficiently.
This was all from this article on air compressor checks. If you have something to add or want to share something, please comment.