Energy-Efficiency Tips for Compressed Air Systems

Image Source: BC Hydro

Compressed air systems are of extreme value to many industrial facilities countrywide. In fact, many facilities (big or small) consider compressed air systems as a “fourth utility” given the part they play in their day-to-day business processes. Despite the benefits, compressed air systems do have one big con and that is energy consumption.

Compressed air systems, especially if you take into account their horsepower, which can range from 5hp to 50,000hp, tend to use too much electricity if compared to other equipments. In terms of stats, facilities can end up saving up to 20 to 50% more of their current electricity consumption. That said, many facilities are looking for ways that will help them make compressed air systems more energy efficient and ultimately saving money. With this in mind, this blog post will get to focus on energy-efficiency tips for compressed air systems.

Air Leaks

Checking compressed air systems on a regular basis for leaks is just one of the many ways facilities can take up to make their compressed air systems energy-efficient. Why is checking for leaks important? Well, Studies have shown that up to 25 to 50% of the compressed air generated by compressed air systems are wasted due to leaks. Leaks, in most cases, tend to pop up because of bad piping and as such, regular checkups of your systems pipes for leaks will go a long way.

Compressor Pressure

When working with any compressed air system, it is important to ensure that the pressure produced by the compressor is able to overcome pressure losses in the supply system. If this doesn’t pan out, especially if pressure by the compressor is unable to overcome pressure loss in the supply system, your system will compensate the loss by working extra hard using too much energy. This compensation is bound to reflect on your facilities, as the day-to-day operating costs will increase. It’s estimated that you can save up to 1.8% of your operating cost by simply taking into account this tip.

Inlet Air Filters

While still on matters compressor pressure, do ensure that your facility maintains its system’s inlet air filters, as they tend to control compressor pressure. For instance, if your inlet air filters are dusty or dirty, your system might experience pressure drops as it will restrict the amount of air flowing to the compressor.

Draining Moisture

Draining moisture from your facilities compressed air systems is another great energy-efficiency tip for compressed air systems. How does it help? Well, draining moisture helps in ensuring proper flow of air for all system loads. While on this subject, there are a few things to point out.

  • Some facilities, although a small number, still use manual drains. If your facility still uses it, make sure you switch to a drain trap.
  • Depending on the season (winter, spring, summer or fall), moisture accumulation on your compressed air system might vary from time to time and as such, a no-loss drain trap is perfect as it tends to open up as the level of the water rises and close as it drops.

There you have it, energy-efficiency tips for compressed air systems your facility can easily adopt. For more on how you can make your compressed air systems energy efficient, feel free to interact with us via the comment section below or simply give us a call.

By Arnold Obat