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Compressors breakdowns: Do you repair or replace? A cost analysis

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article image Companies are often faced with the choice of repairing the air compressor or replacing it with a new model in a breakdown situation

Southern Cross Compressors Australia Pty Ltd examines the options available for companies in the event of an air compressor breakdown.


Companies are often faced with the choice of repairing the air compressor or replacing it with a new model in a breakdown situation. The cost of repairing the air compressor in the event of a major failure may even exceed 50% of the cost to replace it with a new model. One should carefully consider not just the replacement cost but the energy costs associated with running the failed compressor if repaired.


Replacing an old inefficient air compressor with a new energy efficient model makes economic sense in a majority of cases. The capital cost of a new air compressor represents only about 12% of the total cost of ownership over its lifetime with 78% of the total cost of ownership represented by the electricity required to operate the compressor. 


It is vital to compare the electricity costs associated with running an old compressor with running a new energy efficient model over a 10-year period. In most cases, a new energy efficient compressor will deliver significant savings over that period, dwarfing the initial capital cost.


Key reasons for investing in a new energy efficient air compressor include availability of more efficient designs due to advances in technology and components; recent trend of rising electricity prices that makes energy efficiency a top design priority; increase in compressor efficiency design allowing a smaller compressor to deliver the same output as an older, larger compressor; and opportunity to upgrade ancillaries such as piping, air receivers, dryers and filters at the same time to further increase efficiency.


Consult with a Southern Cross engineer to evaluate the best option to reduce ongoing operating costs in the event of a compressor breakdown.

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