Compressor Durability

It looks like this year we are going to be using a lot of pneumatics and the compressor is going to be running the entire match. Is there any benefit to trying to code, drive, design, ect. things on the robot so that the compressor isn’t running for a solid ~2:30 minutes? Specifically will running that hard and hot put any wear and tear on the compressor that it can’t handle?

Which compressor are you using, the new smaller one, or the one that came in the kit up until 2009/2010?

We’re using one of the older compressors and have never had a problem with it - even when it was running nearly non-stop during the match. It will heat up a bit, but that’s as to be expected.

I believe we are using the older one, but I’m not sure. Do you think the smaller one could present any overheating problems or something like that?

We have never had any problems with the old style compressor. Our Overdrive robot ran the compressor the entire match and the only problem we had was running down our batteries :slight_smile:

The old one is nice and rugged, just be careful at times that thing gets HOT!

Most teams don’t have experience with the new style compressor, so they can’t speak for them.

As you can see from the above posts, those older compressors are solid.

Given that you have the weight. A way of keeping from operating the compressor for the entire match is to include more on-board storage.

I looked at the newer compressor’s spec sheets, and it has a 9% duty cycle. We are going to compensate for this by mounting a fan from an old vick over the heat sinc on the top.

So long as you’ve “got enough air” to power your pneumatics throughout the match I wouldn’t worry too much about compressor abuse. You may want to keep in mind, however, that the compressor draws current “away” from your drive train and other systems while running. As you can see from previous posts, that shouldn’t be a problem as far as reliability is concerned, but you could also set it up so that when your drive system goes to maximum power that the compressor briefly turns off. If your programmers are already up to their eyeballs in other challenges then its not worth the effort, but you could see a slight increase in drive performance.

To conserve air you might want to consider how you could hook up some of your cylinders as “single acting” (with a spring/elastic loaded return, rather than a pneumatically driven one) or run a second regulator to provide lower pressure air to cylinders that don’t need a full 60 psi. If you keep the distance between the cylinders and valves short that also saves venting the pneumatic lines at the same time you vent the cylinder. When you are short on air every cc counts!

Jason