The System Assessment
Oil & Gas
Rotary screw air compressor that makes its own lubricant from the surrounding air delivers oil-free compressed air to an environmental laboratory in Stuttgart, Germany - Many sensitive sectors of industry require oil-free compressed air. However, meeting this demand is often not as simple as it sounds. One way is to use oil-injected air compressors with downstream air treatment to meet the demand. A second option is oil-free air compressors, which operate without lubricants. Both versions have their own advantages as well as risks. Another alternative is to use rotary screw air compressors that use water as a lubricant.
When some people think about compressed air, they imagine the big, loud, dirty, unreliable machine in the back corner of their facility. Many businesses around the world rely on compressed air, and an unreliable air compressor can mean stopping an entire facility, costing thousands of dollars in lost productivity and repair labor. Additionally, that loud machine in the back corner is also a major energy consumer. So much so that many industry professionals refer to it as the “fourth utility.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) honored, in April in Washington D.C., 149 businesses and organizations in 35 states for their commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Recipients of the 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award included Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celanese Corporation and Owens Corning. “This year’s Partner of the Year Award winners prove every day that saving money and protecting the environment go hand in hand,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
As a result of compressed air awareness training and a focus on energy management, two facilities in different parts of the world have reduced their compressed air demand substantially by removing vortex style cabinet coolers from some of their electrical panels and reworking the cooling systems. These facilities were previously unaware of the high cost of compressed air and how much could be saved if other methods of cooling were used. This article describes some of their efforts in demand reduction.