10 K Small steps to CA Savings without investment

The most expensive component in the total cost of compressed air is energy. Over the lifespan of a industrial compressor, energy typically costs several times (5-7x) more than the purchase price of the compressor. The bottom line, maximizing energy efficiency saves you money.

The first step to reduce compressed air energy costs is to continuosly measure and monitor your compressed air system's energy consumption, flow rates and operating air pressure. Small adjustments can reduce your operating pressure and energy costs while improving flow rates and output. Here are 10 steps you can take to optimize your compressed air system and save energy costs.


1. Turn the compressors Off - There are 168 hours in a week, but most compressed air systems only run at or near full capacity between 60-100 hours. Depending on your shift pattern, turning your compressors off during the evenings and weekends could reduce your energy bills up to 20 percent. CAEMS control box CS-x will help you to automate the process and saving energy.


2. Fix Existing Leaks - A 6mm or quarter-inch air leak at 100 psi (7 bar) will cost you more than $2,500 a year. CA systems older than five years can have leaks of up to 25 percent. Because it takes energy to generate compressed air, any air that leaks is money wasted. Approximately 80 percent of air leaks are not audible, so to minimize these problems, third-party help in detecting these leaks may be a necessity. CALMS – ultrasound leak management system will help you to identify the leaks and give you managing tool to repair them.


3. Prevent New Leaks - Prevention is better then cure. So, be proactive and look inside your CA system and do annualy leak audit. A clean, dry pipe indicates good quality air and no corrosion issues. Dust in the pipe is caused by particles in the compressed air. If compressed air is not filtered, or if the filter is clogged, pressure drops will occur and the risk of end product contamination will increase. Sludge in the pipe is bad news and must be fixed immediately. Dust and sludge in a compressed air piping system will cause corrosion very quickly and will greatly increase the number of leaks. Dried and filtered compressed air keeps piping clean. CALMS – ultrasound leak management system will help you to identify the leaks and act proactive.


4. Reduce Pressure and check overall system design - Each two psig (0.15 bar) reduction cuts energy consumption one percent (1%) . Check the system pressure and resist the urge to turn up the pressure to compensate for leaks or drops in pressure due to piping problems or clogged filters. A central supply side controller like CAEMS box can greatly reduce the operational pressure band and run air production much more efficiently and effectively.


5. Recover Heat. Compressor is low efficiency heater – so reuse heat! - It's simple physics that compressing air gives off heat, and as much as 90 percent of that heat can be recovered for use in your operation. For example, you can produce hot water for washrooms or direct warm air into a workspace, warehouse, loading dock, or entryway. The savings can really add up.


6. Review complete CA Infrastructure. Many systems aren't optimized - A piping system design should optimize transfer of compressed air at the desired flow and pressure to the point of use. Increasing the size of a pipe from two to three inches can reduce pressure drop up to 50 percent. Shortening the distance air has to travel can further reduce pressure drops by about 20-40 percent.


7. Check Drains. Are your condensate drains stuck open or clogged? - Condensate drains on timers should be adjusted periodically to ensure they open as intended or aren't stuck open or clogged. Better yet, replace timer drains with zero-loss drains to stop wasting compressed air.


8. Change Filters Systematically. Not every once in a while - Inspect and replace filters systematically to ensure the quality of your air and prevent pressure drops. Go beyond the air compressor and compressor room. There are several air-line and point-of- use filters within the facility. Those are just as important to maintain as the air compressor and air compressor room filters.


9. Emphasize Proper Maintenance. Ignoring maintenance costs more - As with most industrial machinery, a compressor runs more efficiently when properly maintained. Proper compressor maintenance cuts energy costs around one percent and helps prevent breakdowns that result in downtime and lost production. Protect your reputation and profits with proper maintenance.


10. Identify Artificial demand and Eliminate Inappropriate Uses of Compressed Air - Inappropriate uses of compressed air include any application that can be done more effectively or more efficiently by a method other than compressed air. For example, high pressure air often is used for cooling or applications where much lower air pressure is required. Sometimes electrical tools can be much more efficient. Decreasing pressure will decrease also artificial demand.