Understanding the Function of a Compressor

Most people go through life using devices that make the most of compressors without ever considering what the devices are for or why they’re important. It makes no difference if you want to understand an air compressor function or you want to understand how air conditioners, freezers or refrigerators work. Each of these devices relies on a compressor in one way. Keep reading to learn the function of a compressor.

air conditioning compressor

What is the Function of a Compressor?

The function of a compressor is to reduce the volume of gas, to make it denser. Gas is made up of molecules that are naturally spread out. Air compressors squish those molecules closer together.

Squishing gas molecules together does a few different things. It naturally increases the temperature of those molecules and it increases their pressure. In the case of freezers and refrigerators, the temperature change of compressed gas is the important side-effect. When it comes to air compressor function, the pressure increase is the main goal, because the pressurized air can be used for a variety of tasks, including running air-powered tools and equipment.

Compressors are also used heavily by individuals and organizations when storing gases. By compressing a gas and putting it in a tank, it’s possible to store a much greater amount of gas particles than it would be without compressing them. This is important when transporting gas. Natural gas industries compress their gas in order to store more. SCUBA divers also rely on air compression in order to make as much oxygen available as possible over time in a compact package.

What are the Main Uses of Compressed Air?

Compressed air is used in nearly every industry you can think of. It serves different purposes depending on the industry, but more people and businesses than you realize are making use of this technology.

To Store Energy

Compressed air is an excellent way to store energy. Think of it like a battery you can tap into in order to do work. From running nail guns to driving around forklifts, compressed air offers the power to get work done efficiently. It is a powerful resource when it’s generated using solar or wind energy that isn’t available all the time because the air can store the excess energy until it’s needed later on.

To Clean

Compressed air is used heavily for cleaning electronics, and to clean out tiny spaces. It’s also used in sandblasting applications, which are necessary for tough cleaning tasks.

To Cool

Refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners rely on air compressors to effectively move heat and cool spaces.

Compressors are powerful devices, and you probably use one or more every day, even if you don’t realize it.