Horizontal & Vertical Air Receivers

Why do you need an air receiver?

An air receiver, sometimes referred to as a compressed air tank, is an integral part of any compressed air system. The main purpose of this is to act as temporary storage to accommodate the peaks of demand from your system and to optimize the running efficiency of your plant.

Your air compressor installation can in theory run without a receiver, but not having one in your air system can increase the loading and unloading cycles on the compressor making the compressor work harder. It is important to remember that load/unload cycles will depend on the demand fluctuation within your facility.


Receiver tanks are usually sized at 6-10 times the flow rate of the system. So, if a compressor has a rating of 25 scfm at 100 psig, the receiver tank should be 150 cubic feet, minimum.

The air receiver acts like a reservoir providing water in times of drought and conversely, storing water during wetter time.  Thus, helping to compensate for periods peak demand and balance of the system.

Receiver tanks are required by law to have a pressure relief valve and a pressure gauge. The relief valve should be set to 10% higher than the working pressure of the system.

It is also important to install either a manual or automatic drain on the receiver tank to remove water from the system.

Benefits of a Receiver tank in a Compressed Air system

  • The receiver tank acts as a reservoir of compressed air for peak demands.
  • The receiver tank will help remove water from the system by allowing the air a chance to cool.
  • The receiver tank minimizes pulsation in the system caused by a reciprocating compressor or a cyclic process downstream.