Power dispersion within oil injected screw air compressors :
The PhD-work shows the power dispersion within the oil- and air circuits of oil injected screw air compressors for the working pressures (Pd), where Pd has been tested for Pd ≤ 8,5 bar (a) and Pd ≤14,0 bar(a) respectively. The executed test runs with mineral oil have further confirmed the suppliers quoted performance data within stated tolerances.
For comparison of the compressor performance with type of lubricant, the performance tests have been repeated with the four most common types of lubricants, which today are commercialised for screw air compressors. The selected lubricants hold the same cinematic viscosity (ISO VG 46), but the lubricants diverge in question of solubility of air and in formation of air bubbles during the compression cycle. These phenomena’s confirm deviations in prevailing viscosity in the oil film and demonstrate that the performance data vary slightly with selected type of lubricant.
The tests have proven that the air, which dissolve in the lubricant during the compression cycle will not degas during the resting period in the air/oil receiver, nor will the miniscule air bubbles degas due to their low ascending speed. This means that the content of dissolved air and air bubbles in the oil in the receiver becomes the most elevated within the system and where the temperature is the highest within the compressor cycle. Further is the resting period of the oil in the receiver extreme long in relation to the over all operating cycle of the oil. The conclusion is that the destruction (oxidation) of the oil is taking place in the oil/air receiver and nowhere else within the system.
To counteract the oxidation and other destructive processes in the oil circuit « additives » are introduced in the oil. So are e.g. anti-oxide additives reducing the formation of peroxides and are by this reducing the oxidation velocity of the oil until the additives have been consumed. These additives are reducing the oxidation velocity of the lubricants, but will as well, due to the increased polarity caused by the additives, increase the content of dissolved water in the oil. However, this increased content of dissolved water is (strongly) reducing life of the roller bearings.
The measured quantities of dissolved water in the lubricants (after the executed tests) have been compared with achieved bearing life from tests executed by others.
The PhD work is finally summarizing that the only method to strongly reduce the destruction of the lubricant is to immediately separate off the oil from the compressed air at exit of the compressor.
In addition, the today's « dumped » power in the oil cooler can be recovered to increase the available pneumatic power by some 25-30%. Assumingly, this increase in working temperature of the pneumatic air will, in addition increase the efficiency in applied pneumatic tools.