best 100% duty cycle on board air compressor

Air Power Battle: Choosing Between Onboard Air Compressors and Air Tanks

Whether you drive a car, truck, or SUV, you may have pondered getting an onboard air compressor or air tank to increase your vehicle’s utility. You may inflate your tires to a higher pressure, run air tools, and even activate air horns with these two choices. But how can you know which one will best serve your purposes? This post will compare and contrast air tanks with air compressors installed on board and will discuss the aspects to consider while making your decision.

Onboard air compressor

onboard air compressorThere is a mechanism on board that compresses air and stores it in a tank for later use; this is called an onboard air compressor. It is often mounted in a truck or SUV and runs off the vehicle’s engine or a separate power source, like a battery. The use of an onboard air compressor rather than a stationary air tank has various advantages.

Types of Onboard Air Compressors

Onboard air compressors come in a variety of configurations, including electric, engine-driven, and belt-driven options. Electric compressors, which draw power from the car’s battery, are the most cost-effective choice. Compressors powered by an automobile’s engine, on the other hand, can match or exceed the performance of compressors fueled by external sources. Compressors with a belt drive are often the most powerful alternative, as they use a dedicated motor.

Benefits of an Onboard Air Compressor

Convenience: Having an air compressor already installed is quite convenient. Due to its permanent location within the automobile, it can be accessed at any time. This eliminates the need to carry a bulky air tank or find a location to keep it out of the way while not in use.

Increased Functionality: Your car’s usefulness can be expanded in numerous ways by installing an onboard air compressor. It can be used to run air horns, inflate tires, and power other air-powered machines.

Reliability: The dependability of an onboard air compressor is another of its many benefits. It is always ready for use because it can be run off the vehicle’s engine or a separate battery.

Air Tank

Air TankAn air tank, a cylindrical apparatus whose purpose is to contain compressed air for prospective usage, stands out as an essential component for anyone looking to harness the power of the air. These tanks come in two different variations: one that is portable and the other stationery, with their operational capabilities being predominantly powered by an external air compressor. There are several noteworthy benefits that come with selecting an air tank as opposed to an onboard air compressor, with each option possessing distinct advantages over the other.

Air Tank Types

You can pick between portable and stationary air tanks, which are the two main categories. Tanks that are portable can be relocated to job sites or other areas as needed because they are made to be transported easily. On the other hand, stationary tanks are intended to be installed permanently in a garage or workshop.

Advantages of Using an Air Tank

An air tank’s principal advantage is that it can hold significantly more compressed air than a vehicle’s own air compressor. With a larger tank, you can go longer between fill-ups of your air equipment or tire inflator.

A tank of air might save you money, which is another plus. Unlike on-board air compressors, this one does not require a motor or engine to function.

A single air tank can serve multiple purposes, from inflating tires on a construction site to fueling air equipment in a garage.

Air Tank vs. Onboard Air Compressor

The decision ultimately depends on your unique demands and tastes because both onboard air compressors and air tanks have benefits and drawbacks. The quantity of compressed air you want, the frequency of use, and the requirements for portability are a few things to take into account while deciding between the two.

Comparison table for onboard air compressors and air tanks:

Onboard air compressor Air Tank
Storage Capacity Limited capacity, typically around 1–5 gallons Greater capacity can range from 2–20+ gallons.
Convenience Very convenient, as it’s always with you. Less convenient, as it requires an external air source.
Cost more expensive than an air tank less expensive than an onboard air compressor
Functionality Provides continuous compressed air for a variety of uses. limited functionality without an external air source
Portability Limited, as it’s typically mounted in a fixed location in a vehicle. Highly portable, as it can be easily transported.
Noise Level May be noisy, depending on the type and location of the compressor. Silent, as it doesn’t generate noise.

Choosing an Onboard Air Compressor: Some Things to Keep in Mind

The CFM (cubic feet per minute) requirements, tank size, duty cycle, and noise level are just a few things to take into account when selecting an onboard air compressor. It’s crucial to select a compressor that can produce enough airflow because the CFM needs will vary depending on the air tools or equipment you intend to utilize.

The amount of compressed air you can store depends on the tank size, which is another crucial factor. The duty cycle is the duration that a compressor can operate continuously without overheating; it’s crucial to select a compressor whose duty cycle corresponds to your requirements. If you intend to use your compressor in quiet or residential areas, the noise level may also need to be taken into account.

Choice of an Air Tank: Factors to Take into Account

Numerous aspects, such as tank size, maximum pressure, and portability, should be taken into account when selecting an air tank. Your ability to hold compressed air will be based on the size of the tank; therefore, it’s critical to pick one that is adequate for your requirements.

Another factor to think about is the maximum pressure because that will determine the highest pressure the tank is capable of holding. Finally, if you need to carry your air tank regularly or if you intend to use it in several areas, portability might be a factor to take into account.

Which is best for you?

Your particular requirements and tastes will ultimately determine whether you choose an air tank or an onboard air compressor. An air tank can be a better choice if you frequently need a lot of compressed air. An onboard air compressor might be a better option, though, if comfort and portability are more important to you.

Final Words

Both onboard air compressors and air tanks offer benefits and drawbacks, and your personal needs and tastes will ultimately determine which is best for you. Although it costs more and has less storage space, an onboard air compressor offers convenience and improved functionality. Contrarily, an air tank offers more air storage, is more economical, and is more adaptable, but it also requires an external air compressor and might not be as convenient as an onboard air compressor.