In this article, we will provide detail on the characteristics of the baseline system and then share the energy-saving work identified in two projects. These two projects represent work which can be performed by the maintenance teams in every plant. These are also project opportunities we find in almost every plant we visit. The two projects are to (1) repair/replace condensate drains wasting compressed air and (2) to perform a compressed air leak survey.
Their system was designed and built to achieve premium performance, yet in a recent compressed air assessment the numbers showed their system had surprisingly poor performance, and worse, their staff was unaware of the problems. This article discusses some of the challenges faced and some future solutions that could get their system back to higher performance levels.
Compressed air is used in all the company’s plants and is often the single largest energy end use within them. As a result, compressed air energy-saving measures are often replicable across the company and offer significant positive impacts. One area of focus is with compressed air leaks since they are “the best low hanging fruit to focus on and they always keep popping up and waste energy”.
A premium whiskey distillery was seeking to renew their compressed air system and meet their corporate mandate in making their production facility more efficient. The first step on the road to improvement was having their compressed air system assessed. This article discusses some of the findings of the system study, which saved significant energy, improved system reliability, and captured a significant utility incentive to help with the study costs and the cost of a new compressor.
One of the best ways to reduce compressed air costs is to look for ways to reduce leakage flow, an unnecessary load that is a constant demand on the compressed air system. This flow is never-ending and occurs during production periods, and during quiet times at night or on weekends. Reducing the flow in a well-controlled compressed air system will result in the reduction of compressor energy consumption, usually by about \$1,750 per every 10 cfm, and often reduces pressure loss, allowing your machines to run better. This article discusses some recent experiences in using an acoustical imaging leak detector.
Awareness and interest in leak detection only continues to grow thanks to a number of factors. What we have seen over the last 20 years is a more sustainable way of thinking, established international energy efficiency standards, reliable leak detection technology, and best practices to implement leak detection.
Challenging teams of employees to generate energy savings while having a good time in the process is the idea behind Saint-Gobain’s “Compress It,” which is the name given to the company’s competition and ongoing effort to reduce compressed air energy and costs. The initiative, which Saint-Gobain rolled out to manufacturing plants throughout North America in 2018, has been met with success. Compress It identified potential energy savings amounting to 26 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity and \$2.5 million.
This article discusses leak assessments and the barriers to effective leak management. Some best practices will be discussed as suggested tips to help you get the most of your leakage reduction efforts. We all hear it time and time again, leakage reduction is one of the first things we can do to reduce compressed air system electrical costs. Yet almost every industrial compressed air system assessment finds high levels of leakage, and too often plant maintenance staff are fully aware they have a problem but fail to act.
“A single ¼-inch leak in a compressed air line can cost a facility from \$2,500 to more than \$8,000 per year. Locating and fixing leaks will result in significant savings depending on pressure requirements and energy costs.”
A food processor was having compressed air problems, so they invited a compressed air auditor into their plant for an assessment and to help them size future permanent air compressors. The plant was experiencing low air pressure and detecting water in the compressed air lines despite having a desiccant air dryer. The auditor thoroughly analyzed the compressed air system production equipment and did end-use assessment and leakage detection. This article discusses the findings leading to a potential cost savings of 52% of the current level.
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.