An air compressor is a mechanical device that transforms power into pressurized air using an electric motor, gasoline or diesel engine.It operates by drawing in air, compressing it, and then storing it in a tank at a higher pressure.

This compressed air can be utilized in various applications, powering pneumatic tools, machinery, and systems across industries.Air compressors come in different types, such as reciprocating, rotary screw, centrifugal, and scroll compressors.

They are used in a wide range of applications, including inflating tires, powering pneumatic tools like drills and impact wrenches.It also provides air for HVAC systems, assisting in manufacturing processes, and even in medical equipment.

These machines play a crucial role in many industries due to their versatility, efficiency, and ability to deliver high-pressure air. Thus, it makes them an integral part of numerous everyday processes and operations.

WORKING PRINCIPLE of Air compressor:

The working principle of an air compressor involves several stages that enable the conversion of power into compressed air. Here is a simplified overview of how an air compressor operates:

Air Intake: The process starts with the intake of atmospheric air through a filter. The air is drawn into the compressor through an inlet valve.

Compression: The compressor’s mechanism, depending on its type (reciprocating, rotary screw, centrifugal, etc.), compresses the incoming air.

In reciprocating compressors, it is achieved by using pistons that move up and down within a cylinder to compress the air.

In rotary screw compressors, twin screws mesh together to compress the air.

Centrifugal compressors use high-speed impellers to accelerate and compress the air.

Pressurization: As the air is compressed, its volume decreases, causing an increase in pressure.

This compressed air is then discharged into a storage tank or directly into the system, where it can be utilized.

Storage: The compressed air is stored in a tank or reservoir at a higher pressure than the atmospheric pressure.

This stored air is available for immediate use or can be regulated before being distributed for various applications.

Utilization: The compressed air can be tapped into through various outlets or pipelines to power pneumatic tools, machinery, or other applications.

It is used in various industries for tasks such as operating air tools, HVAC systems, manufacturing processes, etc.

Regulation and Safety: Air compressors often have regulators and safety valves to control pressure levels and ensure the safe operation of the system.

These components help to maintain the optimal pressure and release excess pressure to prevent damage or accidents.


Compressors are available in different types, each with different operating mechanisms and performance characteristics. Here are some common types of air compressors:

Reciprocating (Piston) Compressors:

These compressors use pistons driven by a crankshaft to compress air.

They are available in single-stage (one compression) or two-stage (double compression) configurations.

Commonly used for smaller applications like powering air tools, inflating tires, and in workshops.

Rotary Screw Compressors:

These compressors use a pair of rotating screws to compress air.

They are efficient, reliable, and suitable for continuous operation in industrial settings.

Often found in larger-scale applications such as manufacturing, automotive, and industrial plants.

Centrifugal Compressors:

Centrifugal compressors use high-speed impellers to accelerate and then decelerate air to increase its pressure.

They are commonly used in large industrial applications requiring high capacities and can provide continuous airflow.

Scroll Compressors:

Scroll compressors use spiral-shaped elements to compress air.

They are known for their quiet operation, reliability, and efficiency in smaller applications like AC and refrigeration.

Axial Compressors:

Axial compressors use a series of rotating and stationary blades to continuously compress air.

They are commonly employed in high-volume and high-speed applications like jet engines and some industrial processes.

Portable Compressors:

These compressors are designed for mobility and are often equipped with wheels or handles for easy transportation.

Widely used in construction sites, automotive repair shops, and other locations requiring mobile compressed air.

Oil-Free Compressors:

These compressors are designed to operate without oil lubrication.

Ideal for applications requiring clean air, such as medical facilities, laboratories, and certain manufacturing processes.


An air compressor is comprised of various components, each playing a crucial role in its operation. Here are the primary parts of a typical air compressor:

Electric Motor or Engine:

This component serves as the power source that drives the compressor. Electric motors, gasoline engines, diesel engines, or other sources provide the energy needed to run the compressor.

Air Intake Filter:

This is responsible for removing impurities, and dusts from the incoming air before it enters the compressor. It ensures cleaner air intake, protecting the compressor from potential damage caused by contaminants.

Compression Chamber: This is the part where the actual compression of air occurs. Depending on the type of compressor, it contains pistons, rotors, impellers, or other mechanisms that compress the air to increase its pressure.

Compression Tank or Receiver: The compressed air is stored in a tank after compression. This tank acts as a reservoir, providing a steady supply of compressed air. Thereby, it reduces the workload on the compressor by maintaining a reserve.

Pressure Switch: The pressure switch serves as a monitoring tool for the air pressure within the tank. It automatically halts the compressor upon reaching a set pressure and restarts it when pressure falls.

Pressure Relief Valve: This safety feature is crucial for preventing over-pressurization. If the pressure in the tank exceeds the safe limit, the pressure relief valve opens to release excess air. This action protects both the tank and the compressor from potential damage.

Outlet Valve or Regulator: The valve controls the release of compressed air from the tank and regulates the pressure as needed for specific applications. It allows users to adjust the pressure level based on their needs.

Cooling System: Air compression creates heat. Therefore, cooling systems like fans or radiators are employed to prevent overheating and maintain ideal operating conditions.

Oil Lubrication System: Reciprocating compressors uses oil lubrication to decrease friction, ensuring smoother operation and longer durability.

Control Panel: The panel contains gauges, controls and indicators to monitor pressure, temperature, and system status. It enables operators to manage and adjust compressor settings as needed.

Drains: These valves or mechanisms expel water to prevent tank corrosion and preserve compressed air quality by removing moisture.


ELGi Equipments Limited: ELGi is a leading air compressor manufacturer in India, producing a wide range of compressors for various industries and applications.

Atlas Cop co India Ltd: Known for its innovative and efficient air compressor solutions, Atlas Cop co offers a diverse range of products catering to different sectors.

Ingersoll Rand India Ltd: Ingersoll Rand manufactures industrial-grade air compressors suitable for various applications in manufacturing, construction, and more.

Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Limited: Kirloskar offers a range of air compressors designed for reliability and performance across industries.

Crompton Greaves Limited: Crompton Greaves manufactures air compressors suitable for both industrial and domestic applications.

Chicago Pneumatic India: Chicago Pneumatic provides a variety of air compressors, from portable units to heavy-duty industrial compressors.

Sullair India: Sullair specializes in rotary screw and portable air compressors, particularly in industrial and construction settings.

Quincy Compressor India Pvt. Ltd: Known for durable and reliable air compressors across various industries like automotive, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Gajjar Compressors Pvt. Ltd: Gajjar manufactures a wide range of air compressors for different applications and industries.

Kaeser Compressors India Pvt. Ltd: Kaeser offers energy-efficient air compressors for various industries, including manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.


The prices of air compressors in India can vary widely based on multiple factors such as brand, type, capacity, features, and the market dynamics. Here is a general price range based on different categories of air compressors commonly found in India:

Small Portable Air Compressors:

Right-duty applications like inflating tires, airbrushing, etc.

Prices can range from approximately ₹5,000 to ₹20,000 or more, depending on the brand and specifications.

Reciprocating (Piston) Air Compressors: Prices for reciprocating compressors can start from around ₹15,000 and can go up significantly based on size and features.

Rotary Screw Air Compressors:

In industrial settings for continuous operation.

Prices for rotary screw compressors can vary widely based on capacity and features. Prices can range from ₹50,000 to several lakhs of rupees.

Industrial-grade Centrifugal Air Compressors: Heavy-duty, high-capacity compressors can cost significantly more, starting at several lakhs and rising depending on specifications.

Oil-Free Air Compressors: Air compressors can vary in price, starting from around ₹50,000 and going up depending on the capacity and technology used.


For Construction:

Construction sites use large air compressors for tools like drills, hammers, and compactors.

These compressors provide compressed air to power the tools.

They are vital on remote sites lacking reliable electricity, petrol, or diesel supplies.

Compressed air ensures continuous operation of tools without interruptions.

For Manufacturing:

In food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing, air compressors, especially rotary screw equipment, are crucial.

These machines power conveyor belts, sprayers, presses, and packaging equipment.

Simultaneously, they deliver clean, contaminant-free air for the production process.

For Agriculture:

Air compressors powers essential machines in farming like tractors, sprayers, and crop conveyors.

They help run pumps and equipment used in agricultural operations.

Dairy farms use compressed air to provide steady and clean air for cow ventilation systems.

Greenhouses rely on air compressors to maintain ventilation for healthy plant growth.

For Engines:

Vehicle Engines:

Heating and Cooling: Air compressors aid in regulating temperature within vehicle engines.

Air Brakes: Larger trucks and trains utilize air compressors for their braking systems.

Theme Park Rides:

Many theme park rides operate using compressed air supplied by air compressors for various functionalities.

For Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC):

HVAC units commonly integrate rotary screw models for air and heat pump systems.

These models perform vapour compression refrigeration, compressing air vapours to elevate temperatures.

They regulate crucial refrigerant cycles within the HVAC systems.

For Spray Painting:

  • Power airbrushes used in spray painting.
  • Desktop airbrushes used by artists.
  • Larger airbrushes for repainting vehicles.

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