Pacbrake Blog

What Are The Main Differences Between 12 Volt Air Compressors And Alternating Current Types?

July 12, 2014

Before we get started, do you know what air compressors are? These are devices that use of any number of methods to effectively inflate air into different objects. Most of the available air compressors pump air into a kind of a sealed container so as to pressurize it. There are others like the 12 volt air compressors that are capable of pumping air directly into any of the many inflatable objects around us.

There are several types of portable air compressors which are designed to operate on a 12 volt direct current in the market today. These are mainly designed to inflate low pressure items, for example air mattresses, sports balls, and sometimes in emergency, car tires. But what is main difference between these direct current (DC) air inflating devices and those that operate on alternating current (AC)? Well, read to find out.

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12 volt direct current compressors lack any kind of pressurized vessels for compressed air accumulation

Rather having a vessel to accumulate compressed air, 12v DC compressors typically pump air directly into an item. How does it work? A motor inside the 12v compressors draws air in directly from the atmosphere and then pumps it into an object. This makes them less effective for use in inflatable objects that need large volume of air to be pumped so as to reach the required pressure level.

More portable than units that on alternating current

Because the units that operate on alternating current are mostly bulky, (mostly due to the included components), they are less portable than most of the air compressors which operate on direct current. Although less powerful than units that operate on alternating current, they run efficiently on 12 volt electrical systems which typically are found in boats and cars, making them useful companions when travelling.

Power source

Besides lacking a pressure vessel to accumulate compressed air, 12 volt air compressors operate on direct current. They come equipped with plugs that are designed to connect directly into cigarette lighter sockets, with others having alligator clips that can be connected directly to a car battery when need be. This make these devices very useful while on the road as they can quickly fill up inflatable objects such tires in situations where no alternating current power is available.

Run continuously

Compressors with compressed air tanks only need to operate until the pressure vessel has been filled up. Their motor automatically turns on when pressure drops below a certain level. 12 volts air compressors however lack any sorts of compressed air tanks, meaning that they have to run continuously for some time when inflating any of the many objects that need to be inflated. It is crucial to shut them off from time to time during their usage, particularly when filling up large volume objects such as car vehicles. Failure to do so simply means that the 12 volt compressor motor that runs it gets burnt up. To avoid this from happening, their manufacturers have set a time limit for continuous operation.

All in all, most 12 volt car air compressors are multifunction devices and come with different but essential things such as flashlights that are particularly useful when performing emergency road side repairs. Others come with gel battery packs that can be used to jump start a car when need be. These battery packs sometimes can be used as a power source to operate the air compressor itself or any other vital car repair electronic devices.