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 with the cost of electricity, continuing to rise, the financial stress on industry is continuing to rise too. 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 biggest 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 is matched to 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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