Energy Efficient Compressors

Making Compressed Air System Energy Efficient

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Discover Opportunities in the Existing Compressed Air System

A preliminary assessment of the system from a critic’s point of view will give the owner an idea of the hidden opportunities that exist within the system. Globally, research has shown that with an energy efficient compressed air system, operating costs can be reduced by 20–50 per cent of current levels or more! To operate a 500 CFM compressor round the clock at 100 PSIG pressure, the power cost alone will be approximately `30 lakhs per annum, at `4 per kWh energy tariff. This cost and energy can be saved in cases where the system:

  • Is running unloaded for extended hours or frequently loading and unloading
  • Is running at a pressure higher than 100 PSI, unless it is a specific industry demand
  • Has a single network for various applications
  • Has high ΔP across cleaning instruments like dryers, filters, etc.
  • Emits significant hissing sound, which indicates leakage
  • Is dependent on manual controls, which indicates absence of cascading settings
  • Does not have any effective regulation at the point of usage

Other factors that affect energy efficiency compressed air systems are:

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Capacity deterioration due to inadequate maintenance or if age of the compressor is normal. However, this may result in operating two compressors, in a situation where an existing single compressor can meet the demand, with necessary modification or overhauling.

Pressure plays an important role in the compressed air system. Often pressure is maintained at a very high level than required to avoid problems down the line. However, for every one bar that one over–pressurizes the system, energy expenses increase by seven per cent. So, an optimum pressure adequate to meet the demand has to be established and maintained.