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Old 03-01-2012, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by barry425
There is a danger in cooling the air going into a compressor tank. The compressor is designed to run the way it is from the factory, and cooling the air going into the tank could cause the pressure to go too high and burst the tank. I have a 60 gallon single stage vertical compressor that works just fine. All my air tools have enough air for continuous running. Why is this intercooler necessary in the first place?
For a tank to burst it must be subjected to pressures higher than its physical strength, which can happen if the safety relief valve was to fail. Safety relief valves are temp rated, 250f to 500f is common. Cooler air entering the storage tank will keep the air temps more within range IF the tank is equipped with a 250f relief.

Air temps within reason will not harm the structural integrity of a supply tank.

The pressure switch is designed for a normal operating range, which is quite adequate for both low and elevated tempertures it may be exposed to.

Your air compressor may have a Square- D pressure switch as it is very commonly used.

A typical SQ-D pressure switch has an operational temperture of -22f to +257f

130 psi @ 76F will not burst the tank any sooner than 130 psi @ 196f.

Think of it like this, you are using your compressor and it runs and shuts off a number of times, the air tank is now hot and has 125psi in it. It now sets until tomorrow and cools off to ambient temperture. Some air is used and the compressor turns back on, only runs a minute and shuts off again. the temp in the tank didnt rise as much this time due to the short running cycle time. The air pressure is the same 125 psi, but the temp of it is lower.

A concern of tank life is corrosion. hot air when cooled causes condensation to form. This water then lays in the bottom of the supply tank and causes rust. Over time the tank gets thinner and a leak develops.

Corrosion will cause pin holes which leak , get larger leak more, etc.

Some air compressors will have an intercooler between the supply tank and the compressor head. Usually found on 2 stage units.

The intent of my intercooler is to cool the air before it enters the tank, giving the moisture a chance to drop out of suspension before it proceeds to the end usage.
I have an auto drain that trips every 30 seconds for 2 seconds to drain this moisture out of the supply tank.

Drier air is the end result. Since installing the intercooler and auto drain I have not had any moisture accumulate in the water filter/regulator assembly.
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