The purpose of this article is to show there isn’t always a proportionally linear relationship between what happens with flow reductions on the demand side of a compressed air system - and what happens with the energy consumption in the air compressor room. Optimizing an entire compressed air system requires precise knowledge of the supply side, how compressed air is used in the process itself and how those two relate together.
The U.S. air compressor market has a compressed air installed base of at least 15 million horsepower. Further, it evaluated various air audits across different customer types, sizes and segments and determined U.S. manufacturers stand to save around 13 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually in electricity associated with compressed air. That translates to a savings of $1 billion in energy costs per year, which would remove nine million metric tons of CO2 annually. That equates to more annual energy usage of more than 1 million homes in the United States.
“Our view is always from the perspective of the value chain from the raw materials to the end product,” Wellendorph said. “How do we work with our suppliers who supply us? How do we look at our own manufacturing to avoid waste? Then, how can our equipment minimize the amount of energy or water it uses when processing and packaging customers products? It’s more than just focusing on ourselves.”
A large manufacturer of consumer glassware products in the North East sought a solution for injecting cold compressed air into its refractory furnace. Doing so would minimize the internal corrosion thereby extending the life of the furnace lining and their annual maintenance interval. The manufacturer opted for a unique solution from Aggreko Engineering featuring a rental, oil-free rotary screw air compressor combined with a heat exchanger and chiller. Installed in 2019, the solution is expected to save the company \$9 million monthly given the ability to maintain extend furnace maintenance from one year to two years – and boost plant uptime.
By making changes primarily focused on compressed air uses, Winpak, an international plastics products manufacturer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, increased compressed air production capacity and reduced annual energy consumption by 33%. These benefits have been accomplished while the company was making the switch to lubricant-free compressed air to support product quality goals. This article discusses some of these changes and addresses measures that could be implemented in any compressed air system.
The company is succeeding with sustainability at many operations, including its manufacturing plant in Lickdale, Pennsylvania. In fall 2019, officials from the Department of Energy’s Better Plants program joined company officials there to celebrate the plant’s energy achievements – including an 11% reduction in compressed air energy costs. Its ability to reduce the cost of compressed air to the tune of \$223,000 per year is a prime example how many TE Connectivity operations have fully embraced sustainability.
In 2019, more than 230 Better Plants partners took advantage of the program to gain considerable ground in their sustainability efforts. In so doing, they cumulatively saved more than \$6.7 billion in energy costs and more than 1.3 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs). These same companies have more than 3,200 facilities and represent approximately 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. In addition to energy, partners are excelling at projects to improve water efficiency.
New Britain, Connecticut-based Stanley Black & Decker has gained widespread recognition for its commitment to social responsibility and sustainability – and with good reason: The company has reduced CO2 emissions in 2018 by 8,840 metric tons and in 2019 it was on track to further reduce greenhouse CO2 emissions by another 4,000 metric tons.
There are many reasons why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Energy Treasure Hunts have proven successful in helping companies save energy and natural resources, but one that rises to the top is their ability to build a culture of energy efficiency throughout an organization.
KPPC has helped more than 800 businesses and organizations in the state discover sustainable opportunities, improve their environmental performance and lower operating costs. And the list of companies KPPC has guided along the way continues to grow – as do the advantages of improved sustainability.
As part of an energy reduction effort, a Canadian technical college hired a compressed air auditor to do a leakage audit of their large campus, which houses over 30 mixed use buildings, including laboratories, research facilities, shops and classrooms. The audit found very few leaks, the reduction of which would achieve minimal savings; however, a few surprising items of interest were noticed during the study that showed very good potential for operating cost savings of 64% with an estimated \$45,000 per year in reduced energy and water costs. This article discusses some of the findings and how savings can be achieved on lightly loaded compressed air systems.