Industrial Utility Efficiency    

The System Assessment

Food

A major poultry processor and packager spends an estimated $96,374 annually on energy to operate

Plastics

A plastic product manufacturer spends an estimated $245,000 annually on electricity to operate the

Paper

Rockline Industries is one of the largest global producers of consumer products, specializing in

Printing

Several days prior to our visit, during a cold winter evening, the lead air compressor in one

Pharmaceutical

A large pharmaceutical company needed huge flow rates of 30 psig air to aerate multiple

Auto

Compressed air optimization measures adopted by PTMSB have reduced the consumption of compressed

Bulk

The Lafarge Cement Distribution terminal located in Winnipeg, Canada has significantly reduced the

Transit

In aerospace manufacturing, tiny details matter most. For instance, if proper torque is not applied

Metals

Paying close attention to compressed air use is paramount for identifying potential energy-saving

Medical

In the U.S. as an example, the NFPA has taken the view that if your compressor draws in good clean

Power

Nuclear power plants produce electricity for people, business and industry.  Electricity is

Oil & Gas

Petro Chemical Energy, Inc. (PCE) specializes in energy loss surveys for the refining and chemical

Wastewater

Aeration tanks use bubble diffusers to distribute oxygen within the wastewater. Fine bubble
The 2017 AICD Conference and Exhibition was held May 21-23 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.  The membership of the Association of Independent Distributors came together to share ideas and discuss business methods to help their businesses prosper.  “The AICD has grown by 15% with 9 new distributor members,” said AICD President Phil Kruger. “The event provides both members and vendors with excellent educational and networking opportunities designed to help grow our businesses.”
A small pulse crop and seed processing facility located in Canada has upgraded their facility compressed air system to accommodate the expansion of their production capacity.  While completing this project the facility has learned some valuable lessons about sizing and maintaining lubricated screw air compressors and compressed air drying equipment.
It is becoming a “best practice” to install a variable frequency drive (VFD) air compressor whenever one is replacing an old air compressor.  As a result, real systems have fixed-speed and VFD air compressors, mixed.  I have observed several VFD compressor sizing methods.  In my last article, I referred to a common method: size one VFD compressor for the whole system.  This can work.  However, if it doesn’t meet a higher peak demand, one or more of the old compressors will be started, and a mixed system results.   Another method is to replace a compressor with the same size, but with a VFD.  If the compressor that was replaced is large, a big VFD is installed.  If small, a small one.
Annual plant electric costs for compressed air production, as operating today, are $147,469 per year. If the electric costs of $750 associated with operating ancillary equipment such as dryers are included, the total electric costs for operating the air system are $148,219 per year. These estimates are based upon a blended electric rate of $0.087 /kWh. The air system operates 8,760 hours per year. The load profile or air demand of this system is relatively stable during all shifts. Overall system flow ranges from 800- 1,000 acfm during production. The system pressure runs from 95 to 80 psig in the headers during production.