Difference Between Diesel & Electric Air Compressors


 In the comparison between diesel-powered air compressors and electric air compressors, the primary difference is at the bottom line: the cost. We’ll examine the numbers shortly, but if cost is your only concern- diesel is considerably more expensive. Now you know.

 There are other differences that may influence your decision, though.

Diesel-powered compressors produce fumes that must be dealt with for both safety reasons and for the well-being of your unit.  Electric: no fumes.

Electric compressors tend to be preferred for indoor implementation because they run more quietly than diesel compressors.

Diesel compressors require fuel- you have to routinely monitor how much diesel is in the storage tank and when it need refueling. With an electric compressor, plug it in and let it go.

Score one for diesel- they’re easier to relocate around your facility. They don’t need to be plugged in to a power source and are unencumbered if you need to move it.

Diesel, making a late run- power outages are no problem as the gas-powered compressor doesn’t rely on the power-company.

Using only the above factors, take into consideration the uses your compressor will fulfill.  It’s possible that the numbers we’re going to show you below will be outweighed by your facility’s needs- only you can really make that determination.

A 185 CFM diesel compressor, with a 27-gallon air storage tank and assuming a diesel price of $3.86 a gallon will cost you $10.42 per hour.

Operating 24 hours a day for a month and your diesel compressor is going to cost you just over $7,500 PER MONTH. That’s a cool $90,000 a year. Move it around your shop all day long but that may not be worth the expense.  Again, this cost vs. function determination is up to you.

The electric compressor, on the other hand- a comparably-sized 50HP unit operating at 41kw at $0.06kWh will run you only $2.46 an hour.

At 24 hours a day for 30 days and you’re only paying a little over $1,700 a month.

The decision, of course is up to you but if you have any questions, our experts can help you make this choice.

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Air Components & Systems is the leader in providing efficient compressed air systems, parts, and repair. With locations in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, we are able to assist with your compressor needs right away. Call us at (866) 413-8077.