It doesn’t matter how efficient the make and model of your compressed air system it still uses electricity and that costs money. However, there are a few handy hints and tips that could help you save energy which, in turn, can lower your electrical bills.
Air Leaks ALWAYS Need to be Fixed
When it comes to energy saving, this is probably the most important tip. Locate any holes and fix them as soon as possible. It is estimated that the average plant loses up to 30% of its compressed air through lots of tiny leaks. It is well worth spending the time to get them fixed and this will save a lot in the future.
Try A Synthetic Lubricant
Using a synthetic lubricant instead of a petroleum based one can save around 8% in energy use. It also has the added benefit of a prolonged system life.
Try Reducing the Operating Pressure of the Plant
If you can, it is worth trying to reduce the operating pressure of the plant. This is because less pressure means less energy consumption. If you are not sure where to begin try reducing the pressure by 2 pounds.
Let the system run for 24 hours and if there are no problems with the equipment you can continue operating at this pressure. If anything does happen just adjust the pressure back to normal. You may be interested to know that for every 2 pounds of pressure that you can reduce you can save 1% of the running costs.
Filters Need a Differential Pressure Check
First, take a look at the cabinet filter and compressor inlet filter. An inlet filter that is dirty will have reduced air flow which could add as much as 3% to overall energy consumption.
After that, under a full load, check air/oil separator differential pressure. The elements of the separator will need changing if the pressure drop is between 8-10 PSI. If the separator element is dirty this can add 5% to costs.
Last of all; take a look at the control air filter element. This is an important piece of the system that can be forgotten about. The controls receive air signals from the air filter element so a drop in pressure here can result in a lower pressure signal. This will make the compressor use more electricity.
Turn Down the Temperature of the Compressor Inlet
You could reduce energy costs by 2% by lowering the compressor inlet temperature by 10F, when below 70F. On a day when it is 30F you could save as much as 8%. When above 70F, an increase of inlet temperature of 10F will add 2% to your costs.
Use Alternatives for Air
In most plants, compressed air is easily available and practical to utilize, but sometimes it is more cost-effective to find an alternative option. According to some research, the total effectiveness of a conventional compressed air system might range from 10% to 15%. In light of this, it is likely to be less expensive overall to adapt an air conditioning system or use a fan to cool a component as opposed to building a compressed air vortex cooler.
In comparison to compressed air, vacuum systems are more effective and secure for cleaning. Although torque and industrial durability need to be taken into account when choosing the proper tool for the job, electrical tools are less expensive to use than their pneumatic equivalents. Ultimately, one should weigh all available choices and only utilize compressed air when absolutely necessary.
Clean Air Filters regularly
Cleaning filters and reducing supply resistance to the air compressor to below 200mmAq (8 inH2O) can reduce energy consumption by 1%.
Check the Compressed Air Line Filters for Differential Pressure
The compressed air line filters need to be twice the size of your ‘cubic feet per minute’ flow rate. This will lower pressure drops and save around 1% in costs.
Know the Needs of the Plant
The dryer and cleaner the air within the compressor, the more energy it will use. Contact the maker of your compressor to find out what quality of air is needed.
Follow these tips to help your air compressor gets more work done with less energy. Hope you can successully apply these tips onto your machine at home.