Technical Reviews

The compressed air system specialists at Air Power USA have authored published articles, given presentations or been used as sources in several prestigious industry magazines. Below is a sampling of some of these. Click any of the links below to download.


The Air Masters at Air Power USA have amassed years of experience in compressed air systems. We are happy to share some of this experience with you via the following Technical Reviews summarized below. Contact us for copies.

Technical Reviews

  • Air Compressor Unloading Controls
  • Automatic Condensate Drains as Used in Compressed Air System
  • Main Line Compressed Air Filters as Applied for Industrial Compressed Air
  • Air Savings Opportunities in Compressed Air Systems
  • Compressed Air Tool and Equipment Lubricators and Use
  • Application and Selection of Proper Air Hose and Quick Disconnects for Optimum Performance of Compressed Air at Point of Use to the Process
  • Control Cabinet Cooling: How – When – True Cost
  • Dewpoint Monitors and Controllers Used in Compressed Air Systems
  • Measurement Tools and Equipment Used in Compressed Air System Analysis
  • Compressed Air – What Size Pipe?
  • Compressed Air Drying

Air Compressor Unloading Controls

Capacity or unloading controls are specifically what translate lower system air usage into lower input energy. This is a complete review of all air compressor unit capacity control systems in use today. Covers reciprocating, rotary screw oil free, rotary screw lubricant cooled, sliding vane lubricant cooled and centrifugal controls, as well as their application, selection and net effect input power usage

Automatic Condensate Drains as Used in Compressed Air System

An effective continuing condensate removal system is an important contributor to a compressed air system’s performance. This is a complete review of all types of automatic condensate drains: mechanical, level operated, timer activated, level activated and electric or pneumatic actuated. Covers pros and cons of each type, basic application and selection.

Main Line Compressed Air Filters as Applied for Industrial Compressed Air

Correct application and selection of compressed air filters not only delivers continuing proper quality compressed air to the production area, but also minimizes expensive pressure loss. This is a basic review of main line compressed air filters that stresses the importance of efficient and effective filtration to overall system performance.

We review filter element technology and the application and selection of various element “standards” and “non-standard but perceived standards”. An in-depth review of coalescing filtration, particulate filtration and vapor removal is included.

Air Savings Opportunities in Compressed Air Systems

There are many common compressed air applications that are widely used in today’s manufacturing facilities that could be more effective and economical. This review covers the most common examples, with an economic analysis of end opportunity.

These opportunities – such as a powering the application via an alternate source – are usually low cost solutions with relatively high savings and fast ROI (return on investment), depending on the cost of electricity and the hours of operation

Compressed Air Tool and Equipment Lubricators and Use

Proper lubrication is critical to acceptable compressed air tool and equipment performance and maintenance cost. All too often this appears to be becoming a “lost art” in many plants. It shouldn’t be – lubricators are really simple devices and when understood and applied correctly, will do their part in optimizing productivity and quality.

We often find misapplied compressed air lubricators when we review plant compressed air systems. Their real job is to lubricate the tool or equipment correctly on a continuing day-to-day basis – lubrication of the air lines is not part of the plan.

Have you seen the compressed air lubricator mounted on the main 1 1/2″ feed line that then “tees off” to several 1/2″ lines with compressed air equipment at each end? Have you wondered how much of this oil gets to the tool? How much stays in the pipe? Or have you had air/tool equipment oil appear upstream of the lubricators and cause problems in a process and wondered how did that happen?

This review is a clear guide to the proper application and selection of compressed air lubricators – all types. They are not air line lubricators, and shouldn’t perform as if they were!

Application and Selection of Proper Air Hose and Quick Disconnects for Optimum Performance of Compressed Air at Point of Use to the Process

This is a complete review of the effect of improper selection of air hoses and/or quick disconnects, and what effect it may have on final power at the point of use or process. Offers detailed methodology to select proper hose and quick disconnect size to flow requirements.

Includes test data and test methods and charts showing net effects of pressure on power, torque, RPM, and air usage of various types air motors.

Control Cabinet Cooling: How – When – True Cost

Control cabinet cooling, when needed, will extend the life of critical electronic equipment. Improper cooling or poor election/installation can significantly increase the operating cost.

Compressed air is a component of some cabinet cooling equipment and works well when applied well. Often, the compressed air cooler may not be the proper type, or it is misapplied in a manner that results in increased compressed air costs.

This section reviews the following basic types of cabinet cooling: direct compressed air blowing, fan blowing, electric refrigeration, compressed air vortex tube refrigeration, thermoelectric refrigeration and heat pipe. Application, selection and installation guidelines are covered along with an operating cost comparison method. An example is given for the very common 1500 BTU/hr cooing requirement.

Dewpoint Monitors and Controllers Used in Compressed Air Systems

If pressure dewpoint is important to your processes, you should monitor the dryer and/or system condition. In general, pressure dewpoint monitors – and specifically the probes – have changed significantly from those of the past. They are much less sensitive to installation problems and also much more reliable.

This review looks at various types of probes: hydroscope film, aluminum oxide, chilled mirror, aluminum oxide/ceramic and thin film polymer. It covers installation and application of each type and offers detailed generic installation guidelines.

Measurement Tools and Equipment Used in Compressed Air System Analysis

This review covers most of the instruments used by Air Power USA, Inc. personnel in analyzing air system performance and troubleshooting. These include basic instruments and loggers and recorders used to measure pressure, vacuum, dewpoint, power, air flow and leak detection. The review shows specific equipment we use and outlines the specific conditions for each.

Compressed Air – What Size Pipe?

A look at basic selection of compressed air pipe and tubing size utilizing compressed air pipeline velocity along with conventional pressure drop charts, covering basic planning for piping with or close to zero pressure loss. This review is accompanied by an article reprint from the July 2002 issue of “Plant Services” authored by Air Power USA President Hank van Ormer titled “There’s a Gremlin Hiding in Your Compressed Air System”. This article covers piping procedures to eliminate pipeline turbulence and its associated pressure losses.

Compressed Air Drying

A general overview of compressed air drying equipment, covering basic standards of drying equipment from the aftercooler through the final dryer. Covered are all types of dryers and basic operating principles and performance ranges, including deliquescent, refrigeration, and desiccant (heatless, heated, and heat of compression) compressed air dryers.

For a copy of a Technical Review, please contact us.

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