Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Compressors and Compressed Air
The term "FAQ" is frequently encountered surfing the Internet. We would like to answer some "frequently asked questions" encountered by our BAUER servicing team.
- What are the prerequisites for operating a filling station in Germany?
- Who is permitted to fill?
- Which pressure vessels may be filled?
- Where can pressure cylinders be filled?
- What may be used to fill cylinders?
- What hazard warnings must be observed?
1. What are the prerequisites for operating a filling station in Germany?
- The unit has to be checked by the TÜV
- A permission from the industrial inspection board has to be obtained if the unit is used to fill divers' cylinders commercially.
- A log book recording place, date, name of the filling staff has to be kept. Repairs, maintenance work and training programmes have to be documented.
- Each 6 month inspection of the filling hoses through a qualified engineer.
- Annual training exercise for filling staff covering the following topics:
- Operation and maintenance
- Potential hazards
- Safety equipment
- Problem solving
- Routine checks of safety equipment
2. Who is permitted to fill?
Individuals over 18 years of age
- that are qualified
- that can safely operate the unit and are acquainted with the safety regulations for compressors
- that are judged to be reliable
Others need supervision when filling.
3. Which pressure vessels may be filled?
Cylinders that have been designed for pressurised air for diving, breathing apparatus or storage
- Cylinders that have a valid embossed safety mark. In Germany the following testing intervals apply:
- Steel cylinders: diving cylinders every 2 years, breathing air cylinders every 6 years, storage cylinders every 10 years
- Aluminium cylinders: diving cylinders every 2 years, cylinders made by Luxfer every 6 years
- Cylinders having a residual pressure of 10 bar. Otherwise the cylinder has to be opened a checked for moisture
- Cylinders in good working condition that are not corroded, pitted or dented and that have an approved valve.
4. Where can pressure cylinders be filled?
- Where others will not be disturbed (noise pollution)
- On level, solid and dust free ground
- Where escape routes are not obstructed
- In a dry, cool and well ventilated place
- In a room with clean, unpolluted air (no smoking)
5. What may be used to fill cylinders?
- Breathing air according to DIN EN 12021 or EN 132 annex A Limits:
- Carbon monoxide (CO) max. 15 ml/m³
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) max. 500 ml/m³
- Water vapour and condensate max. 25 mg/m³
- The air must be without odour or taste.
- Maximum pressure: depending on cylinder type 200 bar or 300 bar at 15 °C.
- The safety valves have been adjusted to 225 bar or 330 bar respectively, as to account for increased pressure at higher temperatures.
6. What hazard warnings must be observed?
- Operating a compressor system requires expertise. If you repair a compressor, you become a manufacturer according to product liability laws.
- Work on the compressor unit may only be started once the unit has been switched off, unplugged and depressurised.
- Pressure lines may not be welded. Do not tighten screw fittings while the unit is under pressure.
- Observe the maximum torque for the individual fittings.
- Check the unit regularly for possible leaks. High pressure hoses have to be inspected frequently.
- Never pressurise the hoses without having connected the cylinder. Otherwise, the hose may cause severe injury whipping around.
- When cleaning the unit, do not use agents that produce noxious fumes (such as gasoline).