To move hydraulic fluid through a specified system, you will need a compressor or a pump. You will realize that even though both machines achieve the same goal, they do so under different operating capabilities. Pumps have been designed to move gases or liquids, while compressors can only move gas. You will note that compressors and pumps contain high-pressure rises.
Pumps and compressors have several differences, with the main being the pump increasing the kinetic energy of the fluid. This leads to an increase in pressure energy as it moves the fluid to different places as stated in power tools blog. On the other hand, the compressor increases the pressure energy of fluid as it pressurizes it into a closed container. Compressors and pumps are mechanical devices that are not only used in industries but also for domestic work.
Understanding pumps and compressors
As we have noted above, pumps are hydraulic machines. How do they work? By transferring mechanical energy from the engine to the fluid. Incompressible fluids are transported through this hydraulic machine. The primary purpose of a pump is to facilitate the motion of a fluid. Pumps cause fluids to move through pipes through displacement.
Compressors, on the other hand, work by harnessing energy stored inside the fluid. They use energy to compress gas whereby the energy does not go to waste; instead, it is securely stored inside the gas. Many machines require highly pressurized air produced by a compressor to do several jobs. Compressed air can be used to clean and power the air brakes in buses, trains, trucks, and buses.
What’s the difference between a pump and a compressor?
There are several differences between compressors and pumps. However, the main difference is that a pump works by increasing the kinetic energy of fluid while a compressor increases pressure energy. A compressor can only compress gases while a pump works on both gases and liquids.
Some of the differences between pumps and compressors include;
- Operational process
A pump works with a simple operational process, whereas for a compressor, it’s a bit technical. The operational process of a pump and a compressor are quite different with their uses also differing. Pumps and compressors are designed to achieve the same goal though under different operating methods. What brings out the significant difference between a pump and a compressor is the operating method. They both have different efficiency because they have to accomplish different needs.
- Manual vs. Electric
Pumps are manually operated compared to compressors that are powered electrically. You can manually run a pump using your legs or hands, whereas a compressor can only work with electricity or gas. For pumps that require power, you will realize that they use little power compared to compressors.
- Air pressure
The air pressure output delivered by compressors is quite higher compared to the output from a pump. Compressors are capable of providing air pressure output, reaching up to 200 PSI. Also, there is hardly any air pressure change in a pump, though, in a compressor, you will always notice a pressure change.
A pump works by transporting both fluids and gases, whereas a compressor transports only gases. The pump increases the energy of a fluid that is incompressible, while a compressor increases the energy of the fluid that is compressible. Though a pump and a compressor move fluids from one place to another, the power used by a pump is less than that of a compressor.
You will notice that in terms of price, a pump is cheaper than a compressor. This is because a compressor is a bit technical and complex than a pump making it more expensive. Compressors are quite critical, another reason why they are more costly than pumps. Their high cost is related to their higher horsepower ratings.
- Storage capacity
A pump is designed without storage for it works by sucking fluids in from one end and forcing it out from the other end. A compressor’s storage capacity makes it possible to store gases. That way, it can deliver the stored gas whenever required. Compressors’ energy is stored in gasses through an increase of pressure and compressing the gas molecules.
The structural differences between pumps and compressors depend on their purposes. The difference is usually in the fluids used, construction, principles of work, and application. The reliability of compressors is paramount since their structure is exquisite. That is why you will notice that compressors are highly engineered compared to pumps. Process compressors mostly designed for industrial use can operate consistently for 5 years though in-between repairs.
Other notable differences are;
- Compressors are said to can be harmful to your health due to the compressed gas that can be toxic. The gas is stored as a form of potential energy, with the risk being related to flammable gases.
- With pumps, the pressure energy increases as the water is rising to any height while with compressors, the energy increases as it compresses the fluid.
It is a fact that both pumps and compressors are renowned machines commonly used in various sectors. You will find them often being used in different technological constructions, and also in several households. Most of the time, pumps are used to drain water out in the sewerage system. Though there are notable differences between a pump and a compressor, both machines also have some common functions.
A pump works by moving fluids or pressurized gas from one area to the other. A compressor will pressurize gas, enclose it in a specified storage device, and store it for later use. Any machine that works by moving fluids it does so because of a pump that is already installed. It is important to note that compressors work with gases only and not so much with only fluids, unlike a pump, which works for both gases and liquids.