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3 Things You Need To Know About Your Rotary Screw Compressor & Winter Weather

by Wade Black

If your business sues a rotary screw compressor, there are a few issues that you need to be aware of and vigilant about during the winter time even if your machine is located inside.  Cold weather can affect how your rotary screw compressor works and functions. 

#1 High-Air Temperature Switch May Be Triggered More Frequently In The Winter

All rotary screw compressors have high-air temperature switches built into them that are designed to turn off your compressor if the temperature of the air inside of the compressor reachers a specific temperature, which is usually quite high. It is a safety device that is built into all rotary screw compressors.

During the winter months, don't be alarmed if your high-air temperature switch turns off your compressor; it is not malfunctioning, it is doing its job. When the outside temperatures are cooler, the lubricant that is essential to keeping the air inside of the compressor cool can thicken, which causes the oil to flow at a lower rate. This can result in not enough oil flowing at a fast enough rate to keep your compressor cool. 

If your high-air temp switch does off, don't try to override it. Allow your machine to turn off and cool down; if the air inside gets too hot, it could damage your compressor. Cold oil can lead to hot air.

#2 Oil May Be Cold

As noted above, sometimes the oil is just not warm enough to flow effectively and keep everything going. This most often happens when the oil coolers and aftercoolers on your machine are located near an outside wall or are vented to the outside through ductwork. 

If the duckwork that vents your oil coolers are not insulated, the oil inside of your coolers and aftercoolers can still be exposed to cold outside air even if they are located inside of a warm building. This can lead to oil that is really thick and will  not circulate properly within the machine. 

If your coolers or aftercoolers are located near an outside wall or are vented outside, make sure that you properly insulate the coolers and ductworks in an effort to keep the oil warm enough to function properly inside of your machine. 

#3 Discharge Lines Can Get Clogged With Ice

Your rotary screw compressor contains drains throughout its system that is designed to allow condensation to be removed from the air system. Often times, this condensation is directed through drains that lead to an outside discharge area. 

If you have discharge lines that flow out of your building, the condensation in these lines can become frozen when it gets really cold outside. When that happens, the condensation that is generated by your machine will have no where to drain to. The condensation will then return to the air system and potentially compromise the components. 

If you have condensation lines that flow outside, make sure that they are properly insulated and try to provide heat to that specific area to prevent the condensation from freezing or flowing back into the machine. Ideally, it is best to set up a drain so that it drains inside and isn't exposed to outside air. 

Even if your rotary screw compressor is located inside of your business, that doesn't mean that the cold winter weather will not affect it. Watch out for the three things discussed above this winter while using your rotary screw compressor, and take the precautions discussed above to avoid any issues or complications. For more information, contact a business such as Kruge-Air Inc.