What is an Air Compressor?
Air compressors use stored pressurized air as a source of power. Most compressors have an electric or gas run motor that helps to power the given compression method (pistons, rotors, etc.) Energy is stored as pressurized air in an air tank. The more air stored in the storage tank, the higher the pressure. When the air is used and the tank pressure gets too low, the motor will kick in and work to keep pressure at desired levels.
Reciprocating pistons create air pressure but decreasing the size of the space holding the air. As the pistons moves downward, outside air opens the inlet valve and fills the area above the piston. The piston then moves back up closing the inlet valve and opening the discharge valve. The compressed air goes into the tank where the pressure continues to rise.
Rotary Screw Compressors
Air comes through an inlet valve, the air is then taken through helical rotor spaces. Screws rotate, reducing the volume of air, and increasing the pressure.