Air Compressor Installation and Commissioning Services

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Air Compressor Installation and Commissioning Services

According to the Compressed Air Best Practice magazine, “Compressed air system commissioning is the process of measuring, testing, adjusting, and recording that an entire compressed air system’s performance satisfies the target system efficiencies (cfm/kW as a whole and for each piece of equipment) in all load situations and possible failure modes.”

Ensuring trouble-free startup and long-term reliability requires proper Air Compressor Installation and Commissioning. Built-in flaws or issues that might later lead to equipment failures or poor performance in air supply are eliminated during each stage of the installation process by thorough examination and critical review under expert supervision according to market demand.

Air Compressor Installation and Commissioning

Before Equipment is Purchased

  1. Kind of equipment being considered and type of another compressor options available.
  2. Defining overall specifications for system and equipment, Flow requirement, delivery pressure bar g.
  3. Project proposal submission Plan.
  4. Target unit price per compressed air system.
  5. Develop Commissioning Plan for System.
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Before Equipment is Shipped

  1. Test Equipment at OEM
  2. Interface testing between OEM subsystems
Air Compressor Installation and Commissioning Services

Before system commissioning, but after equipment installation

  1. Existing air compressor controls modifications
  2. Tests of major equipment mechanically and electrically during “Start-up”
  3. Pre-commissioning Check-out
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Site Testing

  1. Offline testing of the entire system
  2. Online testing of the entire system
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Important points need to consider for your air compressor installation

  1. Latest technology in use (Whether piston/ Screw/ Scroll centrifugal etc), CFM, Requirements, Space for New Compressor, total number of compressor required, Air Filter, oil filter to separate oil from air, Breakdown maintenance for project of installation
  2. Ventilation 
  3. Air intake/ Suction
  4. Cooling water 
  5. Electrical system 
  6. Pipe dimensions, air receiver volume
  7. Layout of the compressor room
  8. Description specification units requirements/ description unit requirement for particular job
  9. project objective
  10. kw Requirements & frequency converter/ frequency inverter(if used)
  11. Type of cooler i.e. air cooled or water cooled for the particular project
  12. Approx. project time table.
Compressor Repair

A correctly installed and commissioned compressed air system will help keep the maintenance cost at minimum and productivity up.

Compressed air is just as essential for businesses to run their normal operations as electricity and water. Investing in an air compressor, on the other hand, does not complete the job. You’ll be far from maximizing the compressor’s potential if you get Air Compressor Installation and Commissioning wrong. By ensuring that your compressor installation, air treatment package, and air distribution network are assembled correctly, you can get the performance of air compressors you have paid for.

Maintenance check

Testing Before Equipment is Shipped

  1. Make sure you have a copy of the OEM’s standard test protocol, which includes a typical test sheet for a similar unit. For important communications and coordination in installation services, have the email addresses of key contacts handy, such as the project manager and the services engineer.
  2. Analyze the test sheet for all critical items, focusing particularly on those that are unique to the system. Incorporate those requirements into an addendum to the test sheet. This phase of installation can be helped by a compressor expert engineer & expert installation services company for air systems like Turbo Airtech.
  3. The test plan addendum should be incorporated into the purchase contract.
  4. Witness tests are highly recommended. Especially when there are several critical items to be tested that are not in the standard test plan, this may be justified. It’s a fact that people get stuck in their solitary boxes, and don’t communicate well with each other, especially at OEMs! There may be a difference between what you want and what you get. They may not fully understand what you want. 
  5. Mechanical interaction between compressor and dryer. Drying requires compressor heat, and the available temperature and load on the compressor can’t be predicted. It is recommended to perform a factory test that simulates min and max loads for a dryer and compressor. If the distributor of the compressor and dryer in the project is the same entity, testing is relatively straightforward.
  6. Controllers and sequencers for the compressors. Although they come from different manufacturers, the master controller can easily be shipped to a compressor distributor for interface testing. Master controllers can communicate with compressor controllers and change set points, as well as start and load compressors, under various scenarios. This could resolve issues.

A typical air compressor test data sheet contains a variety of information that would make factory testing more valuable to any project:

  1. At what set points does the site operate? At what set points the compressor being tested at the factory?
  2. Is there a minimum and maximum outlet temperature that is required for reliable operation and effective dryer performance? Are there any acceptable methods to adjust the temperature (intercooler water flow & temperature adjustment, for instance) if the temperatures aren’t within the range?
  3. What are the requirements for communications testing? What kind of communication system is being used at the site (Modbus, Profibus, Ethernet etc.)? What kind of communications the controllers at site uses? Does the master controller have the capability to communicate with all the compressor controllers types on the site?

Commissioning Process

Commissioning is a collection of activities which includes Unpacking, Identification, Installation , Pre-commissioning checks with the help of project manager & services engineer, Final commissioning, fine tuning of controls & site training to site operators and engineers.


The System and machinery is usually supplied in a disassembled form by the manufacturer. All items needs to be unpacked, identified for use, items once identified can then be used as per installation activities/stages for example once identified oil system components can be placed together and used at the time of oil system installation.

Installation as per manufacturers recommendations

Installation should be  carried out as per manufacturer, Project documents should be analyzed and understood with the help of project manager & service engineer on site for proper installation requirements as per manufacturer.

After Equipment is Installed, check for following things before System Commissioning

  1. Back-up provision in case of any maintenance issue during startup
  2. Minimum pressure valve installation and set point.
  3. Planning for breakdown maintenance if required
  4. Project objective to be verified after the commissioning

Check for Reverse Rotation

Performing this step prior to starting the compressor is arguably the most important thing you should do before starting.

You should check electrical specification, KW motor rating, voltage rating, The compressor should be “bumped started” (i.e. control power should be de-energized immediately after startup), and the direction of the pressure gauge movement for the delivery pressure bar should be checked to ensure the discharge pressure rises upon compressor start. A backward rotating compressor will immediately produce a vacuum at the discharge, starving the air-end of oil and causing air-end damage in a matter of seconds. Before trying to restart the compressor again if the rotation is backward, you will need to correct the phasing of the compressor (reversing any two leads will make it rotate correctly). Also keep a eye on the amperes drawn by electric motor.

Pre-Commissioning Check

The pre-commissioning site checks are minimal if all the elements are checked out correctly at the factory (compressors, dryers, and sequencers).Mostly controls and instrumentation that are not part of the packaged equipment’s, and any modifications to equipment.

The following can be checked by the site construction manager/Project Manager, engineer incharge and service engineer of the project:

  1. For controls and instrumentation, all electrical connections and wiring are in place. To understand control wiring requirements, the system P&ID should be adequately detailed, but a system electrical schematic may also be needed. Before the system commissioning begins, all conduit and wires are pulled and terminated. The power of all components is also verified.
  2. Piping changes are done correctly. Piping sizes calculated as per system volume, valves installation as per system philosophy, drains at appropriate places, etc should be checked out.
  3. Whenever existing compressors are automated, wires are connected to the network/interfaces and are terminated properly.

Make a punch list of items that need to be addressed/repaired before the full system is commission and correct them prior to the system being tested.  

Start-Up Of the Compressor

Once all the points are addressed, compressor start-up should be performed by the compressor expert, system should be tested in unloaded condition and then of partial load conditions.

Once the system is found ok, it should be tested on full load using the actual plant load or using vent valves. Fine tuning should be carried out for optimum response of the valves and efficient operation on different load conditions.

Site Testing

Site testing should be fairly straightforward after this has been completed. The issues that require time to fix will mostly have been fixed. As a result, the testing can now focus on verifying that the entire system operates as it will be used in real life.   

Off-Line Testing

  • During testing, make sure you have a sufficient rental compressor and dryer on hand or a spare compressor room you can use.
  • The new equipment needs to be isolated from the system by installing temporary piping.
  • Install two or three manual bleed valves, sized to match the plant’s anticipated flow range.
  • The combined system should be evaluated at two or three typical flow ranges, and also at transitions between them. Optimize compressor controls for optimal performance, managing energy at the lowest possible level while maintaining pressure and dew point at a specified level.
  • Get customer participation. This is where they can do the hands on and get the feel and experience on the system. This is the stage where they can clear any doubts as well.

On-line Testing

It’s finally time to go “live”. It is much more of a validation test, where the vendor/contractor team confirms that the system operates for the customer, who witnesses it. The facility manager and the process manager are involved if possible, and the management system is compared to the typical loads while all parties see the central monitoring system. A customer may need to turn on and off production lines to confirm that peak and lowest demands are handled well. In addition, they may need to have radio control of the process. This requires some coordination planning.

Why is it necessary to complete the commissioning report?

If there is a fault with the machine, the commissioning report will be used to verify that it was working correctly at the time of installation.  

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