A compressor circuit refers to the mechanism by which air pressure is controlled by a pump. The pump is typically an electric motor, air compressor or gas turbine. The process begins with an initial pressurization of air into a lower pressure that is sufficient to achieve desired results. This procedure then controls the flow of air back to a higher pressure. The higher pressure pushes the air through the circuit to the chamber and forces air into the machine where it is used to generate power or heat.
There are several common types of compressor circuits, including common valve configuration, traditional, open loop, closed loop, zero velocity, electric and gas turbine. In a common valve configuration, one compressor is positioned on the intake side of the valve, while the other compressor is positioned at the exhaust side of the valve. In a traditional valve configuration, the compressors come into contact at the intake and the exhaust side of the valve. In a closed loop configuration, a specific value of water is a variable that controls the flow of air through the compressor. Zero velocity configurations are more complicated than others in the sense that they include separate intake and exhaust valves as well as multiple compressors and, typically, multiple water supply/return cycles. Electric configurations operate differently than gas turbine configurations as the electric generator is connected to the fuel source.
A compressor circuit is most commonly used to reduce production costs, and it does so through the utilization of components that are typically engineered for high efficiency, low maintenance and maximum flexibility. However, there are certain factors that can affect the operating characteristics of a compressor circuit. These factors include the design of the compressor, compressor demand, unit size, equipment capacity, power demand, cycle count, and load path reliability.