Industrial Utility Efficiency

System Assessments

Analysis of the pressure data logging showed that, while the variable speed drive compressor maintained a constant discharge pressure near 120 psi, the pressure at various critical points fell to as low as 85 psi during peak production operations. General pressure in the plants, especially Plant 2, fluctuated between 102 and 112 psi, showing that the pressure/flow control valve was not regulating properly, and that Plant 2 lacked enough general storage volume to support transient flows.  

From Wastewater Agitation to Air Compressor Controls-Food Processor Finds 74% Savings Potential

As many well know, system measurement is essential to ensuring a compressed air system is running efficiently and effectively, with good air quality and adequate pressure.  This is also well understood by a multi-national food company (name has been withheld to protect the innocent) who started a focused effort to measure and improve their compressed air systems in their many processing plants worldwide. 

Chicago Heights Steel Saves $215,000 Annually in Energy Costs

Chicago Heights Steel, Chicago Heights, Ill., leveraged an advanced data monitoring system and adopted a demand-based compressor air management approach to save 2.5 million kWh and \$215,037 per year in energy costs. With an incentive of \$188, 714 from local utility ComEd, the project delivered a payback of 2.4 months.

Missed Demand-Side Opportunities Part 5 - Think Inside the Box to Achieve Savings with Cooling of Control Enclosures

In this ongoing column, we share insights into technologies that offer the opportunity to affordably and easily lower compressed air use and generate energy savings – all while achieving relatively quick payback. But finding these technologies on the production floor isn’t always easy or straightforward. In fact, there are many times when a technological solution is far less than obvious. Such is the case with cooling of control enclosures, which represent a significant area for high-energy savings with little upfront investment. Here is some out-of-the-box thinking…  check that… inside-the-box thinking… for optimizing control of enclosure cooling and coming out ahead.

California Energy Commission and Lightapp Cloud-Based Software Begin Monitoring Study

As energy costs continue to rise it becomes increasingly important for industrial operations to reduce waste and inefficiencies wherever possible. It’s why an innovative company known as Lightapp has developed an intelligent resource management software platform to help manufacturers and other industrial users reduce energy consumption and save costs in the process.

Big Improvements at a Small Sawmill

Spruce Products Limited operates with five separate compressed air systems in their various buildings. A few years ago a sharp-eyed air compressor service representative noticed the screw compressors on site had less than optimal loading to operating hours ratios. Recognizing this was a problem, he suggested the company get in touch with their local power utility for a free compressed air scoping assessment. As a result, SPL has optimized two of their compressed air systems to-date, saving significant operating costs. One system is operating at 86% less energy consumption than previous levels.

Is Aluminum Pipe Oxidation a Bad Thing?

As consumer awareness of the attributes of aluminum tubing have driven its popularity, so have a swell of additional well thought-out questions.  One question is asked with regularity, “What is done to protect the inside of the tubing”? Even though most all aluminum compressed air piping systems feature a painted or powder coated exterior, the interior of the tubing has no coating.

Missed Demand-Side Opportunities Part 4 - Utilizing Air- Driven Venturi Vacuum Generators Efficiently

When the 18th Century Italian physicist Giovanni Venturi discovered when air is forced through a conical nozzle its velocity increases as the pressure decreases, neither he nor anyone could conceive it would ultimately spawn one of the most used and most highly controversial products in the industry today- the Venturi vacuum generator (aka, ejector).

A Pulse Jet Dust Collector Optimization Study

A flour based frozen foods manufacturer orders a compressed air efficiency audit. The audit establishes the cost of compressed air at \$0.27/1000 cubic feet. The study finds the 116 pulse jet dust collectors represent the greatest opportunity for compressed air demand reduction and energy cost savings. A dust collector optimization study/service is suggested and the customer agrees to proceed. In this facility, pulse jet dust collectors are used to filter dust from raw materials entering the plant, for conveying and mixing of ingredients, and for the final packaged finished products leaving the plant.

 

Optimizing Today’s Pneumatic Systems

In the last ten years, the design of pneumatic systems has changed dramatically, mainly due to developments in the technologies that create them. Pneumatic manufacturers’ online tools for sizing components have evolved, the fieldbus systems are ever-changing, component designs are constantly improving, and network devices such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have reshaped the industry. All these advances play a large role in optimizing the efficiency of pneumatic systems, but the age-old practice of routine maintenance must not be overlooked. This article will focus on proper air compressor sizing, proper pneumatic component sizing and predictable preventative maintenance. 

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

The purpose of this article is to show there isn’t always a proportionally linear relationship

Pressure

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

Air Treatment/N2

Nitrogen is used in many facilities for a variety of purposes. The most common source of N2 is

Leaks

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

Pneumatics

Sustainability is a high priority for today’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. Driven by

Vacuum/Blowers

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