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Compressed Air <


A Sustainability Partner Green Product
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Compressed Air

  • Install a control system to coordinate multiple air compressors.
  • Study part-load characteristics and cycling costs to determine the most-efficient mode for operating multiple air compressors.
  • Avoid over sizing — match the connected load.
  • Load up modulation-controlled air compressors. (They use almost as much power at partial load as at full load.)
  • Turn off the back-up air compressor until it is needed.
  • Reduce air compressor discharge pressure to the lowest acceptable setting.
  • (Reduction of 1 kg/cm2 air pressure (8 kg/cm2 to 7 kg/cm2) would result in 9% input power savings. This will also reduce compressed air leakage rates by 10%)
  • Use the highest reasonable dryer dew point settings.
  • Turn off refrigerated and heated air dryers when the air compressors are off.
  • Use a control system to minimize heatless desiccant dryer purging.
  • Minimize purges, leaks, excessive pressure drops, and condensation accumulation.
  • (Compressed air leak from 1 mm hole size at 7 kg/cm2 pressure would mean power loss equivalent to 0.5 kW)
  • Use drain controls instead of continuous air bleeds through the drains.
  • Consider engine-driven or steam-driven air compression to reduce electrical
  • demand charges.
  • Replace standard v-belts with high-efficiency flat belts as the old v-belts wear out.
  • Use a small air compressor when major production load is off.
  • Take air compressor intake air from the coolest (but not air conditioned) location.
  • (Every 5 C reduction in intake air temperature would result in 1% reduction in compressor power consumption)
  • Use an air-cooled after cooler to heat building makeup air in winter.
  • Be sure that heat exchangers are not fouled (e.g. ~ with oil).
  • Be sure that air/oil separators are not fouled.
  • Monitor pressure drops across suction and discharge filters and clean or replace filters promptly upon alarm.
  • Use a properly sized compressed air storage receiver.
  • Consider alternatives to compressed air such as blowers for cooling, hydraulic rather than air cylinders, electric rather than air actuators, and electronic rather than pneumatic controls.
  • Use nozzles or venturi-type devices rather than blowing with open compressed air lines.
  • Check for leaking drain valves on compressed air filter/regulator sets. Certain rubber-type valves may leak continuously after they age and crack.
  • In dusty environments, control packaging lines with high-intensity photocell units instead of standard units with continuous air purging of lenses and reflectors.
  • Establish a compressed air efficiency-maintenance program. Start with an energy audit and follow-up, then make a compressed air efficiency-maintenance program a part of your continuous energy management program.

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