Skip to main content

3 Ways to Save Money On Compressed Air

3 Ways to Save Money On Compressed Air

What if you knew that your compressed air system was completely optimized… running happily day after day.

No more waste of money and electricity…

Because let's face it: wasting thousands of dollars per year on electricity, without you knowing it, sucks.
Want to optimize your compressed air system?

It's impossible to share the complete step-by-step system in an email, but I can get you started on the right path.

Compressed air optimization #1: Air leaks

As discusses in our previous blog: fix those leaks!

Compressed air leaks are the number one energy wasters!

The biggest, most rewarding, leaks will be easy to find. For the smaller leaks, you might have to do some extra work, but it will pay off!

But more importantly, once you fixed most of the leaks, put a system in place to continually check for and repair new compressed air leaks.

You can also use some stealth tactics like dividing your compressed air network in zones and shutting of those zones that are not in use (during the night, during the weekend, during low season).

Or create an award system where employees get a price for finding and fixing leaks. It will pay off!

I have to stop here or we could be here all day talking about compressed air leaks!

Compressed air optimization #2: Drains

Condensate drains… they remove condensate water from out compressed air, which is a good thing.

But, there are two problems with condensate drains:

  1. They often leak, especially the older mechanical types. These leaks should be treated as any other leak: they should be fixed as soon as possible!
  2. They use a lot of compressed air when discharging condensate (water).
Nowadays, there are many types of condensate drains available. Simple, cheap ones and more expensive ones.

Always go for a 'zero loss' drain.

A 'zero loss' drain is a drain that only discharges water, not air.

You see, many simple drains work by a timer. The drain just opens for 10 seconds every 5 minutes. Every 5 minutes, even if there is no water to discharge.

Smarter drains only discharge when they sense that there is water to discharge. But the discharge time is a fixed setting, for example 10 seconds.

These drains still waste compressed air, because all the water might be already discharged after 2 seconds… wasting 8 seconds of compressed air!

Zero loss drains only discharge the water. When all the water is discharged, they close immediately.

Realize that compressed air is very expensive. Any waste of compressed air should be avoided. Those simple drains could cost you hundreds to thousands dollars per year in wasted compressed air!

Compressed air optimization #3: eliminate pressure loss

Pressure loss or pressure drops. What is it?

It's like a ghost in your compressed air system sometimes.

One moment it's there, the next it's gone.

Pressure drops are created when the compressed air flows through a restriction. It's the difference in pressure before and after the restriction.

The restriction could be anything: a filter, a bend in the pipe, a valve, a pipe with a smaller diameter… in fact, each and every part in your compressed air system introduces a pressure drop.

But notice that I said '… when compressed air flows through..".

Pressure drops are only created when the compressed air flows through your system.

If you shut down the air consumers and you don't use compressed air, there is no pressure drop.

The higher the flow, the larger the pressure drop.

That's why it's best to measure pressure drop when all your machinery and tools are running.

The total pressure drop in your system is the difference between the pressure at the consumer (machine, actuator, etc) and the pressure in your compressor room.

For example: the pressure at your machine is 6.5 bar. At the same time, the pressure gauge in your compressor room reads 7.3 bar.

Is one of the gauges broken? No! You have a pressure drop of 7.3 – 6.5 = 0.8 bar in your system.

Why is pressure drop bad?

Always remember that compressing air takes energy (electricity). Compressing air to a higher pressure costs you more energy.

If your equipment needs a minimum of 6.5 bar in the above example. You need to set your compressor at 7.3 bar, to account for the pressure drop.

Say you could reduce the pressure drop from 0.8 to 0.1 bar. Now you can lower your compressors pressure to 6.5 + 0.1 = 6.6 bar. A reduction of 0.7 bar

That 0.7 can save you thousands to tens of thousands per year (depending on the size and number of air compressors you have).


Popular posts from this blog

Decoding the Duty Cycle Rating of Piston Compressors

Selecting the correct air compressor for your application can be a complicated process. Before making a purchase, operators need to specify the quality and amount of air their application requires. Each compressor technology (rotary, piston, centrifugal, etc.) has an optimal flow output, so users should choose compressor technology based on the compressed airflow requirement of their application. Some compressors, like rotary screw and centrifugal, are designed to run continuously at full speed while maintaining peak airflow (defined in cubic feet per minute, or CFM). The motors and cooling systems of these compressors are engineered to run 100 percent of the time without overheating. However, this isn’t true for all compressors. Piston compressors do not have the cooling capabilities to run continuously for extended periods of time. Therefore, each piston compressor must have a specified flow output and pressure, as well as the perc…

A VSD Compressor Doesn’t Save You Money

VSD (Variable Speed / Frequency Drive) Compressors

The energy savings were huge… of course. The pay-back time would be a few months, or days, or less.. for sure!

Stop here!

Yes, a VSD compressor can save huge amounts of energy (and thus money), but only if a propoer homework is one, make some calculations and use your common sense.

[For those in the dark: a VSD or variable-speed compressor uses a frequency drive to match the compressor speed (and thus capacity) to the amount of compressed air needed. This as opposed to 'load-unload' machines that runs at a fixed speed but 'loads' and 'unloads' between a minimum and maximum pressure).

And IF a VSD compressor is a good idea in your situation, buy the right size of VSD compressor.

Here's when a VSD compressor will save you money: when it runs at less than 80% speed for most of the time and when it runs continuously (daily).

In these cases, the cost-savings can be huge. Tens of thousands of dollars per year in energy …
4 Ways to Extend Your Air Compressor’s Life
Intelligent management of maintenance and operations of the plant’s compressed air system helps increase plant uptime, reduce unplanned shutdowns and help keep the plant profits and employee morale at peak levels. Service Agreement for Out-Sourced Compressor Maintenance With a full range of coverage options available, service provider inspects your air compressor for wear, damage and potential failure. Below are three different types of Air Compressor Service Agreements and their key benefits: OEM Service Schedules – Offer compressed air maintenance according to scheduled service intervals. Includes 46-point compressor inspection, filters and fluid.Annual Maintenance Agreement— Sakoon offers annual service agreements to relive plant managers from hassles of air compressor maintenance so that they may focus on production.Trouble Shoot Plan— System Failure – Call the Professionals! Should your system ever fail, customers can contact Sakoon spec…