Compressed air is one of the most expensive systems in an industrial plant. Too often, the efficiency of compressed air systems is ignored. The greatest efficiency gains occur by examining both the supply and demand sides of the system. Leaks and worn-out parts place tremendous strain on equipment resulting in over-work and shortening life span. As manufacturing facilities expand and upgrade, compressed air systems are seldom optimized like other manufacturing equipment. WESCO Energy Solutions can audit your systems to ensure they are running properly and support you in any enhancements.
Helping clients monitor and measure compressed air systems allows them to understand their cost of operation. This allows us to optimize systems such as improving compressor and dryer controls, add storage receivers, lower compressed air pressure, improve air treatment efficiency, upgrade facility piping, and much more. These measures save a tremendous amount of energy and increase the life of the equipment.
Leaks are costly, compressed air leaks can comprise up to 40% of the energy costs associated with compressed air equipment. That means if you’re spending $10,000 per year on compressed air, as much as $4,000 of that is an unnecessary expense.
Up to 40% of energy costs can be avoided by just fixing leaks. A small pinhole size leak can waste $200 a year in energy! Inspections typically pay for themselves, extend the life of compressors, and improves the performance of sensitive air-driven equipment.
Even in a well-run plant, 25-30% of all the compressed air produced never makes it to the end-user. In facilities without a leakage detection system, this number can be up to 80%. The identification and repair of leaks are some of the easiest ways to gain energy savings in a compressed air system. Even a small pinhole size leak can waste $200 a year in energy.
Using a main air receiver in the compressor room can make load/unload compressor control more efficient, reducing the effects of rapid cycling of screw compressors. Storage receivers can also be located on the plant floor to smooth out high flows, preventing the start of an extra air compressor or cause localized low pressure.
Compressed air is dried and filtered in some fashion to remove contaminants using equipment that is often energy inefficient. Existing systems can be retrofitted with more efficient air dryers and airless condensate drains.