CAGI Data Sheets: Comparing Air Compressor Performance

Historically, compressor efficiency information was all over the map. Some manufacturers tested using one process while others used different processes. Some reported compressor airend performance, while others provided total package performance – and so on. Now, with Compressor Performance Data Sheets utilized by CAGI Members, compressor performance comparisons don’t have to drive you crazy and can provide insights that lead to real energy savings. 

What are Compressed Air and Gas Institute (CAGI) Data Sheets?

CAGI Data Sheets are compressor performance sheets that allow air users to compare the efficiencies of different compressors in a standardized format. Only CAGI member companies can utilize these sheets to present performance data. Most of the critical measures that aid the understanding of compressor performance are documented on these sheets and, most importantly, are verified by an independent third party administrator. 

With CAGI sheets, consumers now have a standard way to compare compressor performance and the independent verification process provides assurance that the numbers are accurate. 

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CAGI Data Sheets should not be considered an all-encompassing feature/benefit comparison for compressors. The Fixed Speed Data Sheets only report performance at the compressor’s full flow capability (this is also known as full load). Because air requirements in a plant typically vary throughout the day, compressors often produce air at levels below their full load capability. To understand the efficiency of a compressor during part load periods, you should work with a compressed air salesperson.

How to read and interpret CAGI Data 

Utilizing the data sheets is the fun part. For ease of comparison, every data sheet for similar types of compressors is organized in the same way. At the top of the sheet, you will find the type of Rotary Compressor: fixed speed or variable frequency drive. Note that for fixed speed compressors, all data assumes the compressor is operating at full load, so it is important to take into account how your unit will be operating (for assistance, see your compressed air sales expert).

Download our cheat sheet for a line-by-line description of the data that is on each line of a CAGI Data Sheet, what the data means and how to make use of the information. Once you are familiar with the contents of a Compressor Data Sheet, comparisons become quick and easy, requiring just a few minutes to identify important differences.   


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CAGI Data Sheets should not be considered an all-encompassing feature/benefit comparison for compressors.

rotary screw cagi data sheet

Once you understand how to read and interpret CAGI data sheets you can make apples-to-apples efficiency comparison across industrial air compressor technologies and manufacturers. Learn more about evaluating industrial air compressor efficiency and compressor performance in this white-paper.


Pneumatics is a fantastic utility, but it is not free. An efficient compressor, operated by a well-designed control system ensures you are getting maximum productivity at the lowest possible cost from your compressed air system. Armed with CAGI Data Sheets and a compressed air sales expert, you have the knowledge to implement the best air system for your application and to keep the system at its optimal efficiency level for years to come. Don’t miss the opportunity to put your business in the most advantageous competitive position possible.