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How Much Does a Diesel Air Compressor Cost?

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Diesel Air Compressor Prices

A diesel air compressor is the ideal choice for a contractor, farmer, rancher or other business that needs a powerful and reliable source of compressed air in places where electricity is not available. While electric and gas-powered air compressors offer similar portability to diesel compressors, air technology powered by diesel delivers the powerful output that is necessary for industrial and heavier applications. This buying guide explores the advantages of diesel air compressors, what you need to know before buying one, and how much you can expect to pay.

The Benefits of a Diesel Air Compressor

When shopping for internal combustion air compressors the choice between one powered by gasoline and diesel may seem inconsequential. Diesel air compressors, however, offer a number of advantages over their gas-powered counterparts, including:

  • Safety: Compared to gasoline, diesel is less flammable and is not as likely to ignite.
  • Convenience: Diesel has a longer storage life than gasoline and is more widely available at construction sites.
  • Ease of Ownership: Diesel engines tend to require less maintenance and have a considerably longer running life than those powered by gasoline.
  • Efficiency: Just as a diesel-powered vehicle earns more miles per gallon than gas-powered vehicles, diesel air compressors also have better fuel consumption rates than gas compressors.
  • Flexibility: The rise of renewable bio-diesel fuels such as processed vegetable oil means that a diesel air compressor can increasingly run off of non-petroleum products altogether.

How to Size Diesel Air Compressors

Before choosing a diesel air compressor it's vital that you understand what tools and other machines it will be supplying air to so that you can calculate your air pressure (cubic feet per meter or CFM) and air flow (pounds per square inch or PSI) needs. To do so, you'll have to gather the CFM and PSI requirements for each piece of equipment to be run off of the compressor. For example, the manufacturer of each tool will supply a requirement such as "5 CFM at 100 PSI." To ensure that a compressor can supply enough air pressure to all of your equipment at the same time, take the following steps:

  • Add together the required CFM for all of the pneumatic tools to be used at once, then multiply that number by 1.5 to provide a safe margin of error.
  • Identify the highest PSI requirement of any of your tools and similarly account for a margin of error by increasing that number slightly (for example, bump 90 PSI up to 100).
  • After deriving your CFM and PSI requirements, start shopping for air compressors that can supply adequate air flow and pressure.

Average Diesel Air Compressor Costs - Samples

The following prices are only intended to provide a rough overview of the price for a diesel air compressor. Bear in mind that actual prices can vary quite a bit depending on the dealer and purchase location.

  • A 6 horsepower (HP) diesel air compressor able of producing 18.6 CFM and 125 PSI costs around $750 to $1,250.
  • A diesel air compressor with a 13 HP two-stage motor, 30 gallon tank and 25.25 CFM @ 100 PSI costs approximately $2,000 to $2,500.
  • A diesel compressor with a 10 HP, 2-stage, intercooled motor, 30 gallon tank, and 18.9 CFM @ 250 PSI costs roughly $5,000 to $6,000.
  • A 10 HP rotary screw diesel compressor made by Ingersoll Rand with a 120 gallon tank, the "Total Air System," and 34 CFM @ 150 PSI costs around $7,000 to $8,000.
  • A portable/towable rotary screw diesel air compressor capable of around 180-260CFM costs approximately $14,000 to $20,000.
  • A heavy duty turbocharged diesel compressor designed for mining, railroad, and heavy-duty construction might cost $25,000 to $30,000 or more.
  • Due to their longevity, there is a huge market for used diesel air compressors, ranging in price from around $500 to $50,000 or more depending on your needs.

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