Performance, Precision, Partnership

5 Tips for shutting down and winterising your compressed air system

As the Holiday Season starts, we have shared five important tips for winter and how to ensure your shutdown procedure is effective on your compressed air system. 
  • 1. Drain the compressed air receivers (pressure vessel)
    Ensure your compressed air receivers are continually drained of condensate. HPC recommends that air receivers are fitted with automatic zero loss condensate drains. Regardless of which drains are fitted, they should be checked weekly to ensure condensate does not enter downstream piping and, during winter, that any build-up of condensate does not freeze.
  • 2. Use heat trace tape and insulation on drain lines and drain bowls
    Heat trace tape and insulation can be used to winterise any outdoor condensate drain lines and drain bowls. Heat generated by the element then maintains the temperature of the pipe or bowl which protects pipes from freezing.

    If your plant will be shutting down for the holidays, be sure to drain all the water from the lines.

  • 3. Adjust louvers
    Minimise cold air flowing into the compressor inlet so it reaches operating temperature more quickly. This minimises moisture formation in the oil circuit and increases service life. You can recover the heat from the compressor outlet by ducting the warm air away to heat an adjacent room or recirculate air in the air compressor room if it's too cold.

    For some, adjusting the louvers will be a manual process, but we highly recommend thermostatically controlled louvers. Talk to us if you’d like these fitted.

  • 4. Maintain compressed air plant above the freezing temperature
    To ensure reliability and performance of compressed air equipment, the compressed air equipment should be located in ambient temperatures above freezing. Some units are prohibited from starting if they are below this temperature.

    If it is not possible for the compressed air plant room to be warm it may be possible to add cabinet heaters to compressed air equipment. If you already have one installed, check to make sure it's functioning and adjusted for the lowest allowable operating temperature recommended by the manufacturer.

    Keeping the compressor warm prevents cold starts, which can cause wear and tear on the motor and airend, and in some cases, catastrophic failure.

  • 5. Maintain separators and drains
    Condensate drains are put under high loads both during hot summer and cold winter periods. Always ensure that your compressed air service provider includes drains in their preventative maintenance agreement and that the drains are serviced according to the manufacture’s recommendation. If not maintained correctly a drain failure can have serious consequences to the reliability of your compressed air quality.

    For more information and further support over the winter months, contact your local HPC distributor.