Compressed air is the fourth utility used in industry after electricity, water and gas. The electrical energy used to drive air compressors, equals to almost 10% of all the electricity used in all industrial countries and as the cost of electricity continues to rise, the financial stress on industry increases as well. By improving the efficiency of a compressed air system, significant energy savings are achievable.
But first some facts.
- Compressed Air production is in many cases the largest energy cost for industries.
- Leakages from old systems (and even some new) are often 25% or more of output.
- Many compressed air systems run at much higher pressure than actually needed.
- A rule of thumb is that every 0.5 Bar increase in pressure requires an additional 3.5 to 5% in operating costs
Compressed Air System tips
- Ensure compressor output matches demand.
- Reducing system pressure will reduce leakage.
- Utilise the lowest acceptable pressure – reducing by 1 bar will save approximately 7% – 10% energy costs.
- Use the waste heat from an air-cooled compressor for space heating or water heating. (4%)
- Carry out regular system checks for leaks (see our article on measuring HERE) 16% !
- Isolate machinery with valves to prevent leakage when not in use.
- Maintain downstream equipment like filters. Blocked filters can cause huge pressure drops.
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