Industrial Utility Efficiency

# Air Compressors

When selecting an air compressor for your manufacturing operation, the common choice is the industry-standard rotary screw compressor. Known as the work horse of compressed air machinery, the rotary screw compressor comes in a multitude of sizes and power levels. However, centrifugal compressors have seen some exciting technological progress in recent years and offer a wide range of pressures, flow and turndown. Long known for their longevity and durability, they offer higher efficiency, even qualifying for energy rebate programs offered by local utilities and all, notably, produce Class 0 oil free air.

## When Three Air Compressors Are Better Than One (or Two)

During Dealer Week, they needed enough compressed air to power multiple machines at a time all day long. Keeping simultaneous demos running for all their top machines required airflow of up to 400 cubic feet per minute (CFM). However, outside of Dealer Week, their compressed air demands were quite modest. On a typical day, they only needed 20 CFM to power their dust collection system and pneumatic tools for their dock and warehouse crating areas.

## Using Heat Improves Compressed Air Production Efficiency by 90+%

Compressed air production in industrial facilities consumes 10% of electrical power, on average. While this can vary up or down, it is an industrial average, and is very significant in most plants.
Do you know how much of your power cost goes to producing compressed air? We’ll come back to this at the end of this article.

## Lubricants for Centrifugal Air Compressors

Centrifugal air compressors efficiently convert energy utilizing a series of stages to compress and cool the air as it continuously flows through the unit. A centrifugal compressor imparts kinetic energy into the airstream by increasing the velocity of the air using a rotating element and then converts this kinetic energy into potential energy in the form of pressure. In between each stage of compression, the air is cooled, and excess moisture is removed to further increase the efficiency and air quality.

## The Impact of Altitude on Air Compressor and Tool Sizing

In order for a compressed air system to be designed properly, altitude must be taken into consideration. In order to calculate the demand profile, tool air consumption must also be adjusted for altitude.