Compressed air storage is one of the most overlooked items when companies purchase a compressed air system. A tank is a small expense compared to the other items in your air system.
In most cases, a larger air receiver can improve energy savings, air quality and pressure stability. It can also reduce maintenance costs and extend the life of your air compressors. The best part about it is that there’s no electricity or moving parts. There’s nothing to go wrong with it, other than the drain (and you’d need the same drain on a smaller tank anyway).
Think of your tank like a bank account. It saves money for later use, and allows you to save that money in a more efficient way. Also when a large expense or a surprise bill pops up, you have already saved enough to cover the expense. Think of it as having enough money in the bank, so that you only to have work when it’s convenient and easy for you. You don’t have to scramble around looking for money or work because you don’t have enough to pay the bills. You would never put a limit on the amount of money you can save. In the same way you should never limit the amount of compressed air energy you can save to just a small amount above what you can produce.
Another way to think of it, is this: Imagine if you had a two hour commute from your house to your job. What is more efficient? Going to work twice per day at 4 hours per day, or going to work once per day for a whole 8 hours. Of course you’d rather work the whole 8 hours. Having to go back and forth to work twice per day wastes 4 hours of your time, doubles the gas, and puts more wear and tear on your car. When your compressed air storage is too small, you’re doing this to your compressor, and you’re forcing it to go all the way home and back to work each time.
Another benefit to a big tank is that you can lower your system pressure. This reduces leaks; saving you 1% on the electrical bill to run your compressor for every 2 psi. Also, running at the lower pressure is easier on your compressor.
It’s just a small extra cost initially, but it saves you money year after year, after year.