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.

Control Strategies for Efficiently Operating Multiple VFD Air Compressors

By far the most important development in the world of screw type air compressors has been the introduction of variable speed control using electronic variable frequency drives (VFD’s). Systems that run with at least one air compressor at part load can almost always operate more efficiently if a well-controlled VFD is added to the system. But what if a system has two or more VFD units? This article discusses the challenges in controlling multiple VFD air compressors with some suggested solutions.

Use Baseline Measurements to Improve Compressed Air Supply Performance

Baseline measurements include flow, power, pressure, production output, and other relevant variables impacting compressed air use. These data evaluate trending averages to develop Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and Energy Performance Indicator (EnPI) parameters and establish base‑year performance. The focus of this article is the application, evaluation, and analysis of baseline measurements to provide information necessary to improve Compressed Air Supply Efficiency.

Start with Monitoring to Achieve Compressed Air System Efficiencies

Compressed air represents one of the largest opportunities for immediate energy savings, which accounts for an average of 15% of an industrial facility’s electrical consumption. In fact, over a 10-year period, electricity can make up 76% of the total compressed air system costs. Monitoring compressed air usage, identifying compressed air waste and inefficiencies, and making investments in new compressed air equipment – including piping – are tangible ways businesses can cut their operating costs by lowering their electricity bill.

Don’t Overlook Tubing Volume with Manifold-Mounted Pneumatic Valves To Conserve Energy

The advent of manifold-mounted, plug-in pneumatic valves has been a boon for machine builders. It allows them to mount complete valve packages in a safe and secure location on a machine. Using a D-sub connector, serial interface module, or similar single-point wiring system, all of the electrical control outputs can feed into one location on the manifold, greatly simplifying the wiring.

Automaker Saves $600,000 Yearly In Energy Costs & Improves Compressed Air System Reliability

The project, which also involved the addition of a booster air compressor and receiver tank – along with the installation of an important pressure control valve – gives the automaker the ability to run fewer centrifugal air compressors during peak production. In so doing, the plant saves nearly 6.1 million kWh and more than \$600,000 per year in energy costs. The project also qualified for a \$369,374 rebate from the local utility, resulting in a six-month project payback – all while improving system reliability.

A Tale of Two Cities - Comparison of Fixed-speed and VSD Compressed Air Systems

The compressed air system at the mail sorting facility has been in service since the 90’s. Two older 50-horsepower (hp) air-cooled fixed-speed lubricated air compressors are housed in the equipment room of the facility. The air compressors duty cycle alternates between one another on a set schedule. A 240-gallon wet storage receiver is used to help with air compressor control, with the air flowing through the receiver to a non-cycling refrigerated air dryer and system filters before finally being passed to the plant.

Chemical Packaging Plant Shaves 41% Off Annual Electric Bill with Compressed Air Energy-Saving Measures

A chemical packaging facility had done everything right when they last upgraded their compressed air system a few years ago. They installed a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) air compressor and implemented other energy efficiency measures, but plant expansions caused increased system demand, which exceeded the capacity of the system. The packaging lines were now seeing low pressure, causing shut downs in production. And projections showed plant demand would increase even further.

Outsourcing Compressed Air Gives GKN Sintered Metals Peace of Mind

With an eye toward strengthening its competitive edge, GKN opted for a new approach for the compressed air it uses to power metal molding machines in addition to a variety of other applications at its manufacturing facility. After careful analysis and planning with the Total Equipment Company located in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, GKN opted to move beyond its aging compressed air system – and instead – outsource compressed air as a utility. Doing so allowed it to free up valuable floor space, while also achieving peace of mind since it can now count on a fixed cost for a reliable compressed air supply for years to come.

A Case for KPI Measurement in Compressed Air Management

All industrial facilities use some form of compressed air, and in most, the air compressors consume a significant amount of the total energy bill. A facility with a good energy management system is likely to identify their compressed air system as a significant energy user (SEU). If the facility were using an energy management standard, such as ISO 50001, they would be required to assess and track the energy consumption of all their SEU’s. In the case of the metal processing facility, they were measuring the output of more than 250 devices within the plant, including building heaters, RTU’s, dust collectors, and also tracking the consumption of their electricity, natural gas and water. 

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