System Leak and Consumption

Compressor testing services also include a system leak volume test and plant consumption test when possible. After the compressor(s) have been tested, the plant system is pressurized without operating any equipment and a second test is performed. The difference in the measured flow through the LP Meter during the two tests is the leaks in the plant. A consumption test follows the same procedure only you are testing before and after a piece of equipment or system is started. Again, the difference in the measured flows is the consumption of the equipment or process. For a more complete description, see How to Test.

Without knowing the actual load on the compressor, the true power consumption, and testing pressure it is impossible to perform a true performance test of an air compressor. When performing a run-up test, full power, or load/unload test, assumptions are being made that the curves supplied by the manufacturer are valid for the compressor in question. While this assumption may be acceptable when the compressor is fresh out of the crate, this can create much uncertainty when the compressor has been in the plant and operating for some years. In most cases, we find reduction in flow characteristics are the result of poor maintenance or controls problems rather than any inherent problems with the air end itself.