The company specializes in fabrication of precision assembled customized parts for OEM’s and system integrators. Since 1997 the company has steadily grown in size and capacity as the demand for its high quality fabrications has increased. Through the years, many new CNC machines, laser cutters and powder coat painting operations have been added, but with all the expansion the facility has amazingly kept the plant compressed air consumption low. This has been achieved by following excellent “best practice” compressed air efficiency principles and by keeping watch on system waste.
This article discusses some experiences in using cellular connected data loggers to perform a compressed air assessment during a time when travel was restricted. While not ideal, this exercise identified huge savings for this customer.
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.
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.
So you’ve purchased an ultrasonic leak detector after a sales person gave you a demonstration on detecting compressed air leaks. You’ve read all those articles on how air leaks are wasteful, expensive and leakage programs provide good paybacks. Perhaps you’ve even had a go at a leakage survey. Either way, by now you’ve realised leakage programs are not as simple as they sound and without an ongoing plan of attack, you will probably never see the results you thought you could achieve. This article is written to illuminate common mistakes made in leak surveys and hopes to provide guidance on how to turn that around.
Parrheim Foods, a division of Parrish and Heimbecker, is an innovative starch, protein and fiber mill situated in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The plant has improved system efficiency and reduced production problems by addressing some problems with the consumption of compressed air by their reverse pulse baghouse cleaning operations. This effort has allowed them to turn off one of their 100 hp air compressors, saving significant electricity costs.
A complete compressed air system assessment should provide detailed information on both the supply and demand sides of the system. The supply-side refers to the equipment supplying compressed air – the air compressor, dryers, filters, piping and storage tanks. The purpose of this article is to illustrate what information we believe a factory should receive from a supply-side system assessment and more importantly – what information a plant should always know about their compressed air system.
Petro Chemical Energy, Inc. (PCE) specializes in energy loss surveys for the refining and chemical industries. We’ve been providing Compressed Air Leak Surveys, Nitrogen Leak Surveys, Steam Leak Surveys and Steam Trap Surveys – for over twentyfive (25) years. We operate totally independent of all equipment manufacturers to ensure our clients receive a complete and unbiased report of the leaks in their facility. PCE has conducted compressed air leak surveys for hundreds of customers at thousands of sites. Undetected, compressed air and gas leaks rob efficiency in manufacturing and processing industries. As a result, businesses lose millions of dollars annually in energy costs and lost production time.
A chemical plant spends an estimated \$587,000 annually on electrical energy to operate their compressed air system. In addition, the plant has an expenditure on rental air compressors of equal or greater size - but this will not be covered in this article. The plant was built in the 1940s and modernized in the 1970s. The plant generates its own power and serves many processes. The average cost per kWh is \$0.0359.
A newly constructed ethanol plant experienced control gap issues shortly after comissioning. This article discusses the cause of the issue and how the problem was solved.