Working under pressure
An air compressor is a device that converts power (using an electric motor, diesel or gasoline engine, etc.) into potential energy stored in pressurised air (i.e., compressed air). By one of several methods, an air compressor forces more and more air into a storage tank, increasing the pressure.
Compressors can be classified according to the pressure delivered:
- Low-pressure air compressors (LPACs), which have a discharge pressure of 150 psi or less
- Medium-pressure compressors which have a discharge pressure of 151 psi to 1,000 psi
- High-pressure air compressors (HPACs), which have a discharge pressure above 1,000 ps