Over the years I've heard so many rules of thumb, its 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
(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
For more info on Air Receivers - and where to get them ex stock and
built to real UK standards....visit
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