# Work to compress air

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Gumbton, Dec 18, 2009.

1. ### GumbtonRegistered Member

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Hi all,
I am wondering how much energy it takes to compress air with a compressor. It is true that you can store energy in compressed air, and this energy must be supplied upon compression.

When releasing air from a pressurized source this air is cooled down - as is easily noticed while letting air out of a bicycle tire with your hands. I believe it is something to do with the rate of particle collisions. In reverse, the air is warmed up on compression.

So the energy taken to compress air has to be the composite of the two above.

I've been looking for the equations to solve this, but it may be much easier and more realistic to use an actual compressor.

Check the power consumption on the compressor and the amount of time it takes to compress a certain volume of air to a certain pressure - and you can calculate the amount of work it takes to do so.

The problem with this and the reason I would rather use an equation is that any compressor is likely to be not nearly as energy efficient as would be desirable, since most machinery works on principles of affordability and not power consumbtion.

So if anyone could show me a straightforward way to calculate the amount of work done compressing a gas I would really appreciate it! I noticed that the more accurate equations get quite complicated, especially when one is not dealing with the 'ideal gas'. Thanks!!

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