Do you want to keep your compressed air costs down? Here are a few important principles to keep your system costs down for a long term period.
- Install efficient equipment — Ensure to buy the right size of equipment to match your load and to pick a type of air compressor that will operate in a control mode.
- Purchase larger storage — Practically most of the compressed air system can benefit from larger storage receivers. Installing amid 5 and 10 gallons per cfm rating of the largest trim compressor is a good rule of thumb. And installing secondary receivers downstream wherever needed to balance changing pressures or service high flow transient loads is a very good idea. Air receivers do not contain any moving parts and don’t use electricity, but they significantly raise the efficiency of a compressor by simply being there.
- Dry the air efficiently — Refrigerated and desiccant drying is one of the choices when it comes to drying of air. If you want to retain your costs down, don’t over-dry your compressed air. Use refrigerated anywhere appropriate, and purchase more efficient cycling styles that turn down the power consumption with a reduction in moisture loading.
- Keep the pressure low — High pressure in a compressed air system increases double of the operating costs; the compressors consume more power for every psi increase in air pressure and secondly, the system leaks and unregulated compressed air uses waste more air at higher pressure (about 1% per psi increase). You can minimize this energy waste by keeping your pressure low and ensuring any major pressure losses across filters, connectors, air dryers, piping, and hoses are greatly reduced by proper design, often requiring oversizing.
- Minimize waste — Compressed air is an expensive way to transfer energy, typically costing about ten times that of a direct drive electrical device, so be sure the equipment that consumes compressed air is appropriate. Main wasters in any system are timer style or manual condensate drains, nonstop blowing devices and of course leaks.
- Monitor your system efficiency — The cost of energy and flow measurement devices has come down a lot over the years, ponder installing an efficiency monitoring system on your air compressors to make sure your system is running at reasonable specific power (a level of under 20 kW per 100 cfm produced is excellent) and the leak levels are low (less than 10% of average flow is best practice). It’s impossible to operate without these measuring devices.
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