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Advanced Air System's Power Tank

By Mike "TXJEEPER" Cohn

So how does it all work?
The Power Tank runs on CO2. Yup, that same stuff you're exhaling right now as you read this. But you can't just blow into your tires and have them inflate like a balloon, right? Of course not! The difference is that the Power Tank runs on liquid CO2. Liquid CO2 is what is used for soda fountains to add that wonderful fizz. Unlike the CO2 you're exhaling, as liquid CO2 expands, it provides tremendous pressure.

CO2To fill the Power Tank, you will need to find someone who specializes in the CO2 business, like a fire extinguisher shop, welding supply house, or (in our case) a beverage CO2 supplier. We take our tank in, they pop the regulator off, empty any remaining CO2, weigh the tank, and then add 10 pounds of CO2. We're in and out in just a few minutes and they only charge us five bucks! I think our supplier is a bit on the cheap side. You may find it more expensive in your area.

Power TankFrom there, the rest is pure science. But don't get too discouraged, as this is pretty easy to understand and we won't be grading you later. The liquid CO2 evaporates inside the tank and builds up pressure. The gas goes to the top of the tank and as you release the gas, more CO2 is allowed to evaporate. So what you have is a constant turn-over of liquid to gas within the cylinder. When the gas reaches 500-900psi, it stops evaporating until more gas is released from the tank. Our tank pressure usually hovers around 500-600psi. The evaporation process allows a constant supply of gas until the tank runs out, which means your last bit of air has about the same pressure as the first.

What's so great about using CO2 is that A PT-10 POWER TANK is less than half the size of a 5 gallon air tank yet it will hold as much as 20 times the energy of a similar tank using ambient air. A 5-gallon air tank pressurized to 125 psi will only air up two 33x12.5" truck tires from 10 to 20 psi.

Power Tank
Though the inside won't freeze up on you, the regulator and coupler will get chilled and ice over. Be careful when you touch it!

As far as safety is concerned, the 6061-T6 aluminum cylinder is rated for 1800 psi with a maximum pressure rating of 3000+ psi. At 3000psi, there is a built-in pop-off valve which will automatically relieve the pressure in the tank.

To use the tank, hook up your air hose to the coupler and turn the big black knob on the top of the tank. This knob turns the flow of air on and off. Usually, just a crack of the knob is all that's needed to get plenty of pressure. The regulator takes care of the pressure going out the hose. For airing up tires, you'll get a good feel for a pressure that's comfortable for you. If you get the pressure too high, it's possible that the air chuck will come flying off of the tire, so be careful. It's a good idea to not let go any time you're filling tires, anyway. For air tools, you will want to run over 100psi. We usually go to around 120 or so on ours. Again, be careful to not over-torque whatever you are working on.

The Power Tank System (a closer look)
The Power Tank system consists mainly of the tank, the regulator, an air hose, handle/guard, and ball-end air connector. If you want to run air tools, you'll need to get a quick-release coupler, as well. In order to assemble everything, you'll need some standard wrenches, and we recommend Teflon tape to really seal up all the connections.

Putting Together the DuraThane Hose
Power Tank
The basics you'll need to get going.
Power Tank
A 9/16 wrench is useful for assembling the coupler.
Power Tank
Though the ends have thread-locker on them, we used Teflon tape in order to ensure a good seal.
Power Tank
Installation of the coupler is easy.
Installing the SuperFlowTM Regulator
Power Tank
Here is the SuperFlowTM Regulator. It is precision-designed and is made in such a way that it won't freeze up during extended usage, like less-expensive regulators.
Power Tank
The back guage shows the pressure inside the tank. The front guage shows the working pressure. Turning the knob raises or decreases the pressure flowing through the regulator.
Power Tank
The regulator attaches easily to the fitting on the top of the Power Tank. It is removed when filling.
Power Tank
The included handle is quite handy. It clamps on to the top of the Power Tank using two, large, Allen-head screws. The handle is comfortable and also acts as a guard.
Power Tank
The big knob on top of the tank simply turns on and off the flow of air to the regulator.
Power Tank
The completed Power Tank.

 

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