6 Easy tips to maximise compressed air efficiency

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, June 13, 2024


6 Easy tips to maximise compressed air efficiency



1. Design of your compressed-air system
It is important to have the specifications right the first time when designing a compressed air system.

Ask yourself these questions:

This design will work in the application.

Are we providing enough space to allow for maintenance?

Will we be able scale up or alter the plant's work if we increase production? Your air inlet is the first thing you need to think about. Even though you can buy the most powerful compressor available, remember that the compressor's air inlet is what actually powers it. It's important to ensure that it isn't placed in an area where there are high levels of pollutants or dust. It's not a good idea to place it near a loading dock, as fumes and contaminants could get into the aircraft. Don't just focus on the compressor. What number of filters do you require? What size will your air receiver have to be? Is it necessary to have a dryer? Each system element has maintenance costs and requirements.

2. Ambient conditions
Did you know that a 5degC rise in the air inlet temperature can result in a 2% decrease in compressor performance?

We are worried about the UK's scorching temperatures. You might be rolling your eyes. Many manufacturers were affected by the hot weather in 2018 and had to deal with costly repairs.

The compressor will perform better if the air entering it isn’t too hot. Consider ventilation that can be adjusted over the course of the year when planning. Ask suppliers about how they can prevent temperature-related breakdowns when discussing compressor house requirements.

3. Maintaining a compressor plant
Your compressor's performance will be improved if you keep it in good condition. Neglecting to maintain your compressor will cause it to perform poorly.

Ask yourself:

Are you able to service system components such as condensate drains or filters?

Are you using genuine spares?

Are you using the right oil grade?

The entire compressed air system should be managed to keep it in good condition. You can avoid the capital cost of replacing a plant by taking care of it.

4. Energy recovery
Your compressor should be viewed as an untapped energy source. You might just find the solution right in front of your compressor.

Consider the heat produced by your compressed air system. 90% of electrical input is lost as heat. This opens up opportunities to convert the energy into heat or hot water.

Telford Yarns was unable to produce during winter months before heat recovery. As predicted, a rise of six degrees was achieved along with savings of PS7,000 annually.

It doesn't have to be buying new. To reduce offload power consumption, convert an existing compressor to variable speed.

5. Air distribution
Although it's great to get the air at the source, the air must still reach the application. It is crucial to choose the right size pipework for the airflow, pressure, and distance from the compressor

Consider the design of the fittings and pipework when designing a new system. Pressure drops can be caused by aluminum pipework being smoother than steel. A drop in pressure of 25mbars can cause a 2% efficiency loss. You want it to be right the first time.

6. Internet of Things
Connectivity isn’t just for cars and smartphones, but it’s also entering the manufacturing industry. Real-time reporting is the best way to manage your compressed gas system. Remote monitoring of the compressor's performance is possible with this technology. Notifications can be sent about high temperature, service conditions, and load cycles.

It can monitor energy consumption and offer suggestions for improving performance. It maximizes efficiency and reduces downtime.

Direct Air installed remote Telemetry at all UK Royal Mail locations as part of a service agreement. Royal Mail has lost production only once since 2015 due to a failure of a component that was installed before. Remote monitoring allows us to detect a problem and notify the customer.

If compressed air systems are properly managed, there shouldn't be any concern.

Many companies use a supplier for their compressed air plant maintenance and support. Your business will benefit from the expertise of your supplier who can concentrate on what they are trained to do.










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