Industrial Utility Efficiency

System Assessments

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.

Making Sense of Compressed Air at a Huge Chemical Plant

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.

Fine Tuning Oil-Free Air Compressors and Purification at a Pharmaceutical Plant

A pharmaceutical product manufacturer spends an estimated \$137,443 annually on electricity to operate the oil-free air compressors in its compressed air system. The compressed air system operates well and is providing the level of purification required.  Our team visited the plant and identified a group of projects which could reduce compressed air demand and reduce energy costs by \$42,248 – or 31% of current use.

Compressed Air Savings with Nozzles or Blowers

Compressed air is used as a convenient and often necessary source of air flow to perform blow-offs, cooling, or drying.  And since compressed air is a costly utility, a frequent recommendation in this magazine and audits is to reduce the compressed air use by using high efficiency engineered nozzles.  Using these nozzles is a good practice as they are designed in a way that uses the compressed air to accelerate the surrounding air to deliver the same mass transfer effect as a standard nozzle (or tube) with a much larger orifice.

NMR Spectroscopy Lab Requires a -112°F Dew Point and Pure Nitrogen

Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine interviewed Mr. Warwick Rampley, the National Sales Manager for Sydney (Australia) based, Basil V.R. Greatrex Pty Ltd.

It’s not every day one is asked to deliver a system able to provide both a reliable compressed air dew point of -80°C (-112°F) and high purity nitrogen.  We work with some excellent technology suppliers and have engineered a rather interesting system.  Although our firm was founded in 1919, this application is one of the most demanding we’ve encountered. Basil V.R. Greatrex is a unique company as we focus only on compressed air measurement, compressed air quality and compressed air efficiency.

Low-Pressure Air Compressors Deliver Savings for Lafarge Cement Distribution

The Lafarge Cement Distribution terminal located in Winnipeg, Canada has significantly reduced the site electrical demand and energy charges by changing the way they transport their cement.  Two new low-pressure rotary screw air compressors have replaced two large high-pressure air compressors that previously powered their dense phase transport system.  The resulting power reduction has saved the company 46 percent in transport operating costs.

Australian Company Focuses on Compressed Air Waste & Quality

A small Australian company, Basil V.R. Greatrex (BVRG), is shaking up the compressed air industry in Australia. While other companies focus on the sale of more and bigger compressed air production equipment, BVRG is helping customers reduce their compressed air system size and lower system flow by attacking waste, inappropriate use, and at the same time improving air quality.

Plastic Extruder Optimizes Blow-Offs for Cooling

At a Midwest window manufacturing plant, the cooling process for the plastic frame pieces, after leaving the extruder, was critical to process productivity and quality. Too much cooling air (or not enough cooling air) would generate scrap and rejected product. The plants’ 17 extruders and 55 separate blow-offs in these lines had similar cooling stations at the cooling boxes. They consisted of about three hoses at each exit frame angled down to the extruded piece moving past it. The compressed air flow was controlled by a manual control valve set by an operator. The operator used his experience to control the flow delivered and thereby control the product quality.

Compressed Air System Commissioning Part 2: Measurement and Data Plots

Facility managers, how would you like the peace of mind from knowing the system you had installed or modified is thoroughly tested - to the same degree as a new production line?  How would you like to be confident that the money you spent is still paying back benefits, year after year? 

Poultry Plant Reduces Compressed Air Use by 44%

A major poultry processor and packager spends an estimated \$96,374 annually on energy to operate the compressed air system at its plant located in a southern U.S. state.  The current average electric rate, at this plant, is 8 cents per kWh.

Compressed Air System Commissioning Part 1: Why do it?

“Retro-Commissioning” (ReCX) of compressed air systems has become a trendy activity with many utility demand-side-management programs emerging in the last 5-10 years.  This is intended to be the process of “tuning up” a compressed air system, getting low cost savings from mostly adjustments and repairs.  The term was borrowed from the building/HVAC industry, where it means to get a system operating as it was originally “commissioned”. 

Compressor Controls

As part of its ongoing corporate initiative to find ways to reduce its energy bills, and the costly

Piping Storage

Since completion of the system upgrade in the fall of 2020, PC Forge is on track to save an average

End Uses

There are a tremendous variety of unique and creative ways people in the food industry have

Pressure

Most industrial systems like compressed air have essentially random demand if you look at the long-

Air Treatment/N2

Regular testing of pure gases helps to ensure the safety of consumers and of end products. Whether

Leaks

One of the best ways to reduce compressed air costs is to look for ways to reduce leakage flow, an

Pneumatics

In manufacturing and packaging facilities that rely on pneumatics, there’s a four-letter word worse

Vacuum/Blowers

Operating the vacuum system at higher levels (then necessary) affects the needed volumetric flow to