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Advantages of Duplex Reciprocating Air Compressors - Courtesy of FS-Curtis

Transcript: Matt Smith is at the factory at FS Curtis headquarters in St. Louis, MO, and he has answered a popular question they hear a lot from folks: "Why would I choose a duplex reciprocating air compressor instead of just one bigger air compressor or 2 smaller separately mounted packages?" There are several key reasons you would choose a duplex machine. First off, duplex provides 100% backup. If I'm doing maintenance on one pump, where one pump goes down, I always have the other pump to provide 100% backup and cover all of the air demands of my shop. Second, because rotary screw technology is a great intermittent technology, it is ideal for applications where demand vary widely. So let's take the example of a 20 bay shop. If I have a 20 bay shop, and on the average day I only use 10 of those bays, I wouldn't want to size a rotary screw compressor to cover all 20 of those bays, because rotary screw technology likes to run all the time. If I oversize the rotary screw compressor to cover all 20 bays and run it at only 50% duty cycle the rest of the time, I'm going to run into all kinds of problems with the rotary screw technology. Because recip technology likes to run intermittently, over-sizing a duplex compressor is the ideal solution. We have one pump that can run and cover the 50% of the time that I'm only running 50% of my bays and we have both compressors to cover all 20 bays when the need kicks in to do so. A related benefit of this is that we would save energy costs with the duplex air compressor in this application because on those days when I only run 10 bays, I run one smaller horsepower motor instead of a bigger horsepower motor if I had sized one compressor to cover all of the demand. A related benefit is also pump life in this situation because if I sized one compressor to cover all 20 bays, I would be running one pump whenever I needed air. With a duplex air compressor, you alternate back and forth between pumps so that you share the demand between 2 different pumps and you increase the pump life. Finally, the last reason you would want to use a reciprocating duplex air compressor is space requirements. If you have limited space but you need 2 pumps you can mount 2 pumps on one tank instead of having 2 separately mounted tanks, so duplex is ideal if space requirements are a consideration as well.

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