Compressed air is used in more than 70 percent of all manufacturing activities, ranging from highly critical applications that may impact product quality to general “shop” uses. When compressed air is used in the production of pharmaceuticals, food, beverages, medical devices, and other products, there seems to be confusion on what testing needs to be performed.
ISO and CAGI
Many astute air compressor users have noticed the Compressed Air and Gas Institute (CAGI) air compressor data sheets, dated after June 2020, have a new term listed; isentropic efficiency. Isentropic Efficiency will be the new standard of reference for a true comparison of the overall efficiency of air compressors at any rated discharge pressure. Now users can see which company produces the most efficient product with an easy reference percentage number. The compressed air industry, in conjunction with CAGI, has been trying to make fair comparisons between air compressors for years.
Centrifugal compressors are dynamic, and each has a characteristic curve of rising pressure as capacity decreases. Without any control system, the compressor would operate along this natural curve. A centrifugal compressor's flow and pressure are typically controlled by a combination of an inlet control device and an unloading valve (UV).
Compressed Air Best Practices® (CABP) Magazine recently caught up with the Compressed Air and Gas Institute (CAGI) to discuss variable inlet guide vanes (IGV). The following interview describes how centrifugal compressor efficiency can be improved thanks to recent developments in IGV technology.
Compressed Air Best Practices® (CABP) Magazine recently spoke with Rick Stasyshan, Compressed Air and Gas Institute’s (CAGI) Technical Consultant, and Mr. Neil Breedlove of CAGI's Centrifugal Compressor Section and member company, Atlas Copco Compressors, about centrifugal air compressors. Specifically, the discussion outlined how various inlet conditions can impact the performance of centrifugal air compressors.
Organizations across the world are gaining control of their energy spending by measuring and managing their utilities. In doing so, they may be using standards such as ISO 50001:2011 (energy management systems — requirements with guidance for use) to help set up an energy management system (EnMS) that will improve their energy performance. This improved performance might lower energy bills, making products more affordable in the marketplace and improving an organization’s carbon footprint.
The rise in energy prices is an unwelcome reality in today’s manufacturing and business environment. And while the rate of price increases for natural gas, heating oil and electricity may vary from year to year, the upward trajectory is clear. Energy cost reduction strategies are vital to staying competitive. Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine recently discussed heat recovery, from industrial compressed air systems, with the Compressed Air and Gas Institute (CAGI). Their inputs should provide you with some insight in energy-saving technology.
In the absence of official third party specifications on energy efficiency, it is difficult to evaluate and compare blower technologies fairly and effectively. The lack of readily available evaluation tools leads to misinformation and unfair comparisons between technologies. Further, the performance verification process is difficult to prove.
Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine recently discussed variable speed drive (VSD) air compressors with the Compressed Air and Gas Institute. Their inputs should provide you with some insight to this energy-saving technology.
Plant engineers do not purchase air compressors or compressed air dryers on a regular basis. There may be decades between purchases, and with today’s more reliable and durable compressed air equipment, the interval between purchasing decisions grows ever longer. This lack of purchasing frequency, coupled with the significant investment in productivity that compressors and dryers represent, means it is important to make the right decision.
Compressed air is viewed as industry’s fourth utility. Compressed air is frequently the only means of effectively, consistently, efficiently and safely powering certain machinery and processes. It enables users to perform critical work to manufacture, build and process the products we use every day. The world cannot function without compressed air. CABP recently caught up with Rick Stasyshan, the Compressed Air and Gas Institute’s recently appointed Technical Consultant, to shed some light on CAGI’s activities and industry involvement.