High Pressure Air Start Engine Compressors

Reavell is a world renowned name in industrial and offshore compressor supply, and we have used our expertise to develop a range of high pressure air compressors offering maximum output, with minimum size and weight.

What’s more, our focus on ensuring maximum maintainability and ease of integration, along with the support you can expect from a global leader, ensures our compressors are a safe and dependable source of air. Delivering proven and effective engine starting, even in the most demanding environments, also makes our compressors ideally suited for use in hazardous areas.

Reavell High Pressure Compressors for Engine Start Applications

Implementing a high-pressure air start system is the right choice for many internal combustion engines, especially diesel engine applications. With market-leading weight and space efficiency, Reavell carries a wide range of compressors designed for this application arena.
Reavell high-pressure compressors offer:

• Volumetric flow from ~3.0 m3/hr to ~300m3/hr

• Delivery pressure ranges from 10 to 45 BarG

• Power range from  2.2 to 75 kW

• Available 2-stage compression

• Market-leading air output with a 25% smaller footprint

• Available air-cooled and water-cooled versions

• Designed and manufactured in-house in our U.K. factory

• Very easy to maintain with single tool valve replacement

• Suitable for all diesel applications, including power generation, marine, offshore and emergency services

Key Benefits: 

Reavell high-pressure compressors offer a range of benefits in engine start applications including:

• Over 100 years of experience in engine start solutions in highly diverse and critical businesses like marine and offshore.

• Reavell offers product life-cycle support, compact design, easy maintenance, low TCO, long-term reliability and many more.

• Our bare blocks and packages are certified for marine and offshore applications, covering DNV, Lloyds and Bureau Veritas.

• We follow all safety standards, making our solutions a low-risk selection option.

• As a complete package solution provider, our packages are equipped with additional features like:

  1. Ability to operate below 0 degrees Celsius environments.
  2. Stringent approvals, including ATEX and specific marine and offshore approvals.
  3. Services across the globe with a proven track record in diverse applications.
  4. Plug and play units.
  5. Available in vertical and horizontal configurations to meet footprint requirements.


Efficiency Begins With High Pressure Air Systems

At Reavell we aren’t like other high pressure air system manufacturers, we support specialist compressed air and gas requirements across industry, and that means we can offer you more.

Our air systems offer proven, effective engine-starting in even the most demanding environments. Each Reavell high pressure air system is engineered to provide maximum efficiency and ease of integration. Combined with our world-class global support capabilities, Reavell high pressure air systems ensure safe and dependable performance.

Compact Footprint

With an outstanding power-to-weight ratio, Reavell high pressure air systems are the ideal way to save cost and improve accessibility. Offering 25% greater air output in a smaller footprint than competitors, our compressors will help save valuable space without sacrificing performance.


Reavell 5209 Direct Drive Air Start Reciprocating Compressors

Reavell 5209 Direct Drive Air Compressor

Due to their large inertia, sizable internal combustion engines require high-pressure air to help them start. This typically applies to engines with a displacement of over 500 cubic inches (8.2 liters) and a compression ratio of more than 10:1. For example, aircraft piston engines and large diesel engines used in marine and power generation applications usually fall in this category.

In addition to overcoming the initial high inertia, high-pressure air is required during engine start for the following reasons:

to ensure a sufficient amount of fuel is delivered to engine cylinders;

As air pressure rises, the density of air in the air-fuel mixture increases in the engine's cylinders. This results in a more complete combustion of the fuel, providing the energy needed to turn the engine's crankshaft.

to improve the reliability and durability of the starting system;

High-pressure air compressors are typically more reliable and have a longer service life than low-pressure air compressors. By using high-pressure air to start the engine, the starting system can be designed to be more robust and reliable. This ensures that the engine will start reliably every time it is needed.

to minimize the amount of time it takes to start an engine.

This can be especially important in applications where quick engine start-up times are critical. This includes aircraft, power generation plants, and other similar applications.

How Does a Start System Aid the Engine Start Process?

The following steps and devices used outline how high air pressure start systems are used to start a large capacity engine:

  1. Compression: An air compressor is used to compress air to a high pressure.
  2. Storage: The pressurized air is stored in a storage tank until it is needed for starting the engine.
  3. Delivery: When the engine start button is pressed, high-pressure air is released from the tank and delivered to the engine's cylinders.
  4. Increased density: The high-pressure air increases the density of the air-fuel mixture in the engine's cylinders. This results in a more complete combustion of the fuel.
  5. Engine rotation: The increased combustion provides the energy needed to turn the engine's crankshaft.
  6. Air starter motor or turbine: The exact process of delivering high pressure air to the engine's cylinders can vary depending on the engine design. It typically involves the use of an air starter motor or a turbine.
  7. Engine running: Once the engine has started and is running under its own power, the high-pressure air system is no longer needed. The compressed air is either released or used for other purposes.

This process allows engines with high compression ratios to start quickly and reliably. High-pressure air starting systems are well suited for use in applications such as in ships and power generation plants.


engine start technical photo



Challenges Faced by Heavy Industrial Engine Users

Businesses that use heavy industrial engines currently face the following challenges:

Cost: A complete start system involves high initial and ongoing maintenance costs.

Complexity: Designing a start system for large engines is very complex and requires a significant amount of installation and maintenance support. In addition, it requires frequent inspections to avoid components from failing.

Safety: There is a serious risk involved if a start system is not designed and maintained properly. It may harm personnel, or cause commercial loss.

Logistics: Start systems are often used in remote and hazardous locations. This can pose significant logistical challenges, including the transportation of service personnel and spare parts.

Regulation: Heavy industries are heavily regulated, and must comply with a range of international, national, and local safety and environmental regulations. This can be time-consuming and costly.

Despite these challenges, engine-driven ships or generator sets remain a critical component of many businesses in the marine/offshore and power generation industries. To be successful, companies must invest in the right equipment, training, and infrastructure. They must work closely with regulators, clients, and other stakeholders to ensure the safety and success of their global operations.

Engine Start Applications

Reavell’s high pressure air systems are the intelligent choice for many diesel engine applications. With market-leading weight and space efficiency, our high pressure air system is the perfect solution for a wide range of applications and markets such as:

  • Power generation
  • Marine
  • Offshore
  • Data centres
  • Hospitals
  • Emergency services