There are two main types of air-compressor pumps: oil-injected and oil-less. The oil-less system has more technical development, but is more expensive, louder and lasts for less time than oil-lubed pumps. The oil-less system also delivers air of better quality.
Air compressors are designed to utilize a variety of power sources. While gas/diesel-powered and electric air compressors are among the most popular, air compressors that utilize vehicle engines, power-take-off, or hydraulic ports are also commonly used in mobile applications.
The power of a compressor is measured in HP (horsepower) and CFM (cubic feet per minute of intake air). The gallon size of the tank specifies the volume of compressed air (in reserve) available. Gas/diesel powered compressors are widely used in remote areas with problematic access to electricity. They are noisy and require ventilation for exhaust gases. Electric powered compressors are widely used in production, workshops and garages with permanent access to electricity. Common workshop/garage compressors are 110-120 Volt or 230-240 Volt. Compressor tank shapes are: "pancake", "twin tank", "horizontal", and "vertical". Depending on a size and purpose compressors can be stationary or portable.
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