Unsurprisingly, rising energy costs remains one of the main concerns for all manufacturers in Australia today with higher input costs for electricity biting into margins. Looking for ways to reduce your energy costs has therefore never been so important. When was the last time you considered the energy efficiency of your compressed air system?
Most compressed air systems will be hiding an energy savings potential of up to 30% and when you consider that compressed air is one of the largest consumers of electricity on a typical site that could be significant!
If you want to quantify the energy efficiency of your existing compressed air system and discover where you might be able to make savings, the first step would be to undergo a comprehensive audit.
Sophisticated computer aided audits - such as the Air Demand Analysis (ADA) from KAESER - allow meaningful and accurate data to be gathered from a compressed air system on its performance. A non-intrusive measurement device is simply connected to the compressed air system, which then gathers data over a set period of time - usually around 10 days. In order to obtain an accurate snapshot of the system this will also include periods of downtime - such as weekends - to ensure non-productive demands on the system are also identified.
The resulting data is then downloaded and analysed using state-of-the-art software. This will show how much power and energy are being consumed by the current system configuration. A number of scenarios will also be generated which show how the energy consumption of the compressed air system could be lowered. This information can then be used to determine the best and most energy efficient system solution for the application.
The steps required to optimise the efficiency of your compressed air system that come about as a result of an audit, may be as simple as fixing and implementing a leak detection programme to educating your workforce on what constitutes in appropriate use of compressed air:
Leaks are an unfortunate reality of running a compressed air system and if they are not managed, they can squander up to 50% of the compressed air produced by a typical compressed air system. Regular leak detection may be something you choose to implement internally, however most quality service providers will also be able to offer this to you as part of a wider service programme. When it comes to inappropriate use, simple things like educating your workforce to not use a nozzle or compressed air gun to blow or clean a workshop area may make a big difference. In fact, inappropriate use of compressed air alone can account for up to 15% of wasted compressed air.
In addition, an audit may reveal that significant compressed air savings could be made by replacing ageing or inefficient equipment. In this scenario it is important to investigate the energy efficiency of any proposed new equipment (you can learn more about reviewing compressed air technologies here).
If you are looking to up your compressed air knowledge base this year then there are a number of resources you could plug in to, including:
Compressed air seminars
They say knowledge is power, and it can definitely save you power when it comes to understanding how to optimise the energy efficiency of your compressed air system. KAESER runs a number of one day seminars throughout the year. These seminars are aimed at those people involved with the design as well as day to day operation of a compressed air system. This educational resource provides a great opportunity to speak with industry experts and learn more about how you can optimise your compressed air system. You can find out more here.
Compressed air calculators
From calculating leakages to estimating the air receiver size required, to making simple conversions, the KAESER Toolbox is a convenient online tool which allows you to quickly make numerous calculations. You can access it by clicking here. Don’t forget to bookmark it for future use! Compressed Air Engineering Handbook Following an in-depth yet highly accessible introduction to the field of compressed air technology, you will find in this handbook, a series of practical tips for system operators and compressed air users. You can request your complimentary copy today - just click here.
And, finally don’t forget to subscribe to our blog! We regularly write posts that covers a wide range of compressed air topics which include; tips, educational material and whitepapers. You will then get an email advising you as soon as a new post is added. Good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions!