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AC Air Tools

Use your car's compressor to run air tools
  (+4, -3)
(+4, -3)
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According to a web site I just saw, the low pressure side of an automotive A/C system runs at 25-40 psi, and the high side runs at 225-250 psi. The compressor is capable of converting quite a bit of mechanical power into fluid power. I propose a system that retrofits an automotive air conditioning compressor for use as an air compressor.
kevinthenerd, Jun 23 2008

Endless Air http://www.4wdworld...dless_air/index.htm
Sadly, baked - and very tasty indeed. [Custardguts, Jun 23 2008]


       Cool idea in theory, you re-use existing hardware, and compressed air is always handy for tools and all manner of crazy gadgetry.   

       But automotive AC compressors run in a constant bath of oil. Not a problem normally because they are in a hermetically sealed system, and any oil blown out the high side eventually gets sucked back in the low side. So using it to run air tools etc you would quickly lose all the oil.
ServoMan314, Jun 23 2008

       The rotary compressors used by automotive aircon are a bit different from standard air units. They'd have a short service life if used to pump air. But there's no reason not to use the mount points on the block for an air compressor. You'd need an air receiver, and an inline oiler, but still it would be useful on pickup trucks. And if you kept the air receiver charged, it could be used for an auxilliary air motor starter if there were problems with the electric starter, so [+].
8th of 7, Jun 23 2008

       Sorry fellas, but wrong. This is rather widely baked in the 4wd scene, - with both commercial units available, as well as many, many instances of home-made units. The oil issue is solved by installing an air-oiler on the inlet side, as well as having a drier on the outlet <if feeding to oil sensitive devices>.   

       Basically it's a really easy conversion, you can easily use the electric clutch on the automotive AC unit as your on/off switch. Some people simply decommission their onboard A/C, but keep the compressor, converting it for use as an air supply. They work better than 12V accessory compressors, ie at least 10 times the flowrate available. I've known people to run air tools directly off their endless setup, - however most people will put a tank as an accumulator in the system to buffer the compressor load. Most people run @ ~ 100-120PSI, but I've heard of people running as high as 250 without major dramas.   

       Service life seems, from all reports, to be pretty damned good - I mean think about it, your AC compressor normally runs almost constantly while your engine is on, and they go for a couple years between service intervals. That's a lot of useful compressor hours before it goes belly up.
Custardguts, Jun 23 2008

       You run your AC constantly? Where do you live - the sun?
Texticle, Jun 23 2008

       Well I live in far north queensland, up near the tip of cape york. It's fairly hot here, and worse, it's humid. In summer it'll be 35-40 degrees centigrade, with humidity well above 50%.   

       In addition, all the roads up here are dirt, once you're 20km out of town. So you have the windows wound up to keep the dirt out.   

       So yes, while I'm driving, the AC is on.
Custardguts, Jun 24 2008

       Makes sense. Carry on.
Texticle, Jun 24 2008

       Texticle, here in Florida, people can run their A/C for 11 months out of the year, and for the one month of the cold season, the A/C compressor is turned on when the window defroster is selected. The A/C business is big here.
kevinthenerd, Jun 14 2010

       I keep my car's A/C on all the time here in temperate England. In the heat of summer it's nice to get some cool air, and in the wettest of the other 11 months A/C filters the moisture out of the interior air so wet clothes don't cause the windows to mist up too much.
Tulaine, Jun 14 2010

       widely and completely baked by off-road enthusiasts. go Google it. I would have thought that this was widely known but I guess not.
WcW, Jun 14 2010


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