10 Steps to Saving Compressed Air Operating Costs (6-10)
Small adjustments can reduce your operating pressure and energy costs while improving flow rates and output. Learn the final steps you can take to optimize your compressed air system and save energy costs. But, make sure that you also check out the first 5 things you can learn to "Save your Compressed Air System Operating Costs"
- Review Piping 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.
The more flow through a pipe the greater the pressure drop will be. Pressure drop in a pipe increases with the square increase in flow, which means if the flow is doubled, the pressure drop will increase four times. Air distribution piping should be large enough in diameter to minimize pressure drop.
If your compressed air piping system was installed years ago when your compressor was much smaller, this might be an indication that the distribution pipes are too small. A quick guide is to look at the air compressor outlet size. If your distribution piping is smaller than your air compressor outlet size, then it may be time to get your FS-Curtis distributor in to evaluate your piping system. If up-grades are needed, FS-Curtis offers a modular, aluminum piping system that is easy to install and is a cost effective alternative to copper or steel piping.
- 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.
Your FS-Curtis distributor will provide you with a complete Filter Package located on your compressed air system supply side. Your process and type of equipment used will determine the level of air quality needed. If you are not sure what you need, ask your FS-Curtis distributor who can guide your selection using an industry standard selection chart.
- Recover Heat. Compressing air generates heat - reuse it!
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 work space, warehouse, loading dock, or entryway. The savings can really add up.
How can FS-Curtis features and benefits help with this step? A simple heat recovery step can be making sure the hot air from your compressor room is directed into a nearby work space. If you have a larger rotary screw compressor with e-COOL® Technology, you could capture the exhaust air from your air compressor and ducting into your facility during the heating season. More aggressive heat recovery systems can be used to pre-heat water or process materials if you operate larger compressor systems.
- 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.
Your FS-Curtis i-Command® Touch Control will help monitor your compressor for items needing maintenance as well as sending signals showing maintenance alerts. Having your FS-Curtis distributor establish a scheduled service interval based on the number of hours your compressor runs per year will save you money in the long run. Take advantage of your extended warranty by using correct parts and lubricants at the correct time. If you skip service and have maintenance done, then you can expect that future warranty claims may be rejected. Just like you car, if you don’t take care of it, it won’t take care of you!
- Identify 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.
If you have a Compressed Air Leak Survey scheduled, the Auditor normally is looking for inappropriate uses of compressed air at the same time. Common missuses are: blowing off a work station with an air gun instead of using a hand brush; using an air stream as a personal cooler instead of a fan; plus many, many more ways.Posted on: May 2, 2017, by : Cameron Ballentine