Installing 80 gallon upright compressor in outdoor enclosure

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Old 02-01-13, 09:17 PM
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Installing 80 gallon upright compressor in outdoor enclosure

I'm considering getting an 80 gallon upright electric-powered compressor. To reduce noise in the shop I plan to install it outdoors. Since I'm a sci-fi nerd I'm going to build a TARDIS-shaped enclosure from the series Doctor Who to protect it from the elements here in the desert southwest. How much clearance should I place around the compressor within the enclosure?
 
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Old 02-01-13, 09:20 PM
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How much clearance ? Probably just enough to service it.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 09:20 PM
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Oh, I should add, I like my neighbors and their property is about ten feet from where the compressor will be situated; while there is a concrete block fence wall it's only about 5' tall at the moment, so I'm going to have to install insulation inside of the enclosure to deaden the sound, if that will matter.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 09:30 PM
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You'd better put that baby in an underground bunker

Ten feet from the neighbors ... gonna need to insulate well.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 09:58 PM
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enough to service it and keep in mind the compressor needs cooler air to cool the compressor head and body which means you'll need ventelation. The sheive is also a fan to push the air over the compressor. Make sure you have enough room to rebuild or replace the valves in the head when needed. Good Luck.... herbdogs
 
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Old 02-01-13, 10:52 PM
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But a TARDIS has infinite space inside so you should be fine. Can't you just shift it one dimension over so the neighbor won't hear it?.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 04:36 AM
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IMO if you insulate it too well, it won't get proper ventilation. If you ventilate it, the neighbors will hear it, no matter the design of the enclosure. May want to reconsider an inside location. You could put it in an enclosure there and only bother yourself with the noise.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 04:55 AM
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Everyone is right.......you will not be able to silence an already noisy compressor.

80 gallons does not tell us anything about what type of compressor you are buying.
A belt drive oil filled compressor stands the best chance of being a type that you may be able to tame.

Both oil-less and direct drive oil type usually turn at 3600 because they use a smaller piston/diaphragm turning at twice the speed to produce the rated volume of air.
A slower moving pump will also generate less heat.

IOW the cheaper the unit the more racket it will make.
 
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Old 02-02-13, 08:10 AM
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As Greg said, an 80 gallon tank doesn't provide any details, so I can only speak in general terms, but here are a few thoughts. Starting with herbdog's point, yes, the blades of the flywheel on belt driven air compressors provide cooling air over the pump, and this is essential, because air compressors generate a lot of heat. So, first and foremost, you should maintain a minimum of 12" clearance between the beltguard and the nearest obstruction, presumably a wall, in order to ensure adequate cooling, or, of course, more space if so stated in the owner's manual. Other than that, as far as space is concerned, enough to provide for routine maintenace around the unit should be adequate, as long as you provide adequate ventilation. As far as adequate ventilation, consider that, again, strictly general terms, it takes roughly 8 cubic feet of air to produce 1 cubic foot of compressed air. So, say you want to run a 1/2" impact wrench for one minute. Assuming a 1/2" impact wrench consumes 7 cubic feet per minute, whatever ventilation you provide, and it doesn't need to be powered ventilation, just screen or whatever, has to be able to allow a minimum of 56 cubic feet to pass through it in one minute. Point being, an no you don't need to break out a slide rule or calculator, but don't scrimp on ventilation. As far as having to even worry about ventilation for a tighter space though, I would take a realistic look at keeping it inside the shop, particularly from a good neighbor aspect. You mentioned noise is a concern, but how often will it run? Depending on the exact air compressor that you buy and what you will use it for, you may be surprised at how little it runs. A typical recovery time should fall someplace in the minute and a half to 3 or 4 minutes, and it should cycle maybe 4-6 times per hour. Also consider that with the better quality lines of compressors anyway, as much as 30-40 percent of the noise comes from the air intake. So you keep the machine noise in your shop, but route the air intake outside, either under the soffit, or through the wall with a raincap, and I think that you would be pretty surprised at the difference that it makes. And your neighbors might not mind the "whoosh" of the intake being outside nearly as much as they would the sound of the entire machine. Just a few thoughts.
 
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Old 02-03-13, 06:40 PM
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I was planning on going with a belt-drive unit. I was also going to ask what people thought of CH, since their units are generally about $500 less than the IR units I've seen.

As for usage, it'll be for my personal shop, which will see most of its use in the afternoons and on weekends. Most of the time honestly it'll probably be used for filling tires, but I do run the occasional impact, and I'd like to paint with it. I haven't re-plumbed for it either, and the current plan is for soldered copper air lines to reduce problems with leaks. I'm also considering some Milton-V fittings which are fairly pricey but hopefully the extra cost should buy me some good leak protection. I plan to cut the power to it when I'm not in the shop, and I'm mulling over buying a DPST high amperage switch to put next to my lightswitch at the door, so that I just turn it off.

I'm probably going to leave the windows on the side facing the workshop wall un-filled, and I'm considering some more enhanced intake muffling, like automotive, motorbike, or lawnmower intake stuff, to make it less bad. I also wouldn't have a problem with insulating the hell out of the inside if I can find an insulation that'll help with sound moreso than temperature.

ray2047
: Thanks for the laugh, I needed it. I suppose, more accurately, it'll be a Police Box, rather than a TARDIS... The fun part will be getting the "Police Public Call Box" signs at the top backlit when the power is on, and getting the light at the top to strobe when the compressor runs. I may even add the openable compartment with a live telephone in it...
 
 

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