If we talk about operational costs of compressed air plants we are actually talking about the energy costs as they make up about 70 to 80 % of the total costs of a compressed air plant. Although compressed air is one of the most expensive energy resources companies often experience enormous energy losses in this sector.
Energy resources like electricity, water and gas are usually monitored and therefore the costs are transparent. Water consumption, for example, is measured with consumption meters and a water leak is usually found quickly due to the visibility of the leak. Compressed air leaks on the other hand are often not noticed and can „silently“ cause a lot of unnecessary costs, even during production downtime or over the weekend.
Not included are the hidden costs of producing clean and dry air. Refrigeration and desiccant driers are producing dry air with high running costs involved. Air that is then later lost through leaks within the system.
Prepare in 4 steps the basics for a successful energy management in your enterprise.
Learn about how your first steps could look like. Later on you can easily transfer these steps to further sectors in your enterprise and optimize your company energetically and increase the efficiency in order to save money.
Step 1: Compressed air and energy costs monitoring
The first step is to install precise flow meters for compressed air at all essential places in order to get reliable measured data.
Step 2: Localization of compressed air leakages resp. compressed air losses
Now in the second step compressed air leakages resp. compressed air losses are localized. For this purpose the compressed air lines of the most important consumers are included in the compressed air analysis. At first, the largest compressed air consumers should be determined. They should be itemized into single consumers like e. g. halls, floors, production lines or even single machines. As soon as the compressed air consumption is determined for each consumer it becomes very quickly transparent where which compressed air costs are generated. Even smallest leakages or compressed air losses also in case of a running production can be found quickly and easily by means of modern leak detectors on ultrasonic bases like e. g. our leak detector LD 400.
Step 3: Transferring solutions
When you have recognized and analyzed the energy saving potential of the main line of the compressed air plant by means of chart recorders you can transfer the results of compressed air analysis to the whole piping system. This experience will help to save energy when planning and expanding the compressed air system. So it should be carefully analysed whether it could be economically advantageous to substitute too small dimensioned compressed air lines by a new piping system with larger inner diameters. Antiquated measurement technology (e. g. measuring orifices with differential pressure, Vortex and so on) which cause a restriction of the inner diameter of the compressed air pipes should be replaced by modern flow meters without any reduction of the pipe diameter.
Ball valves which do not correctly close should be exchanged. Couplings which do no loger close should also be replaced by new ones, these are only some examples. Make use of the knowledge from steps 1 to 3 and work out continuously and carefully further solution for your whole compressed air system. An optimized compressed air system saves money – an important point in case of increasing energy costs. The use of intelligent chart recorders like e. g. DS 500 will support you with regards to this task.
Step 4: Monitoring of optimizations
Keep an eye on your compressed air system. After steps 1 to 3 of the compressed air analysis , the recording of compressed air consumption and energy costs, the localization of compressed air leaks and compressed air losses, the transfer of the solutions to the whole compressed air system, the compressed air analysis should be continued as a continuous task as the most important step 4. For this purpose a responsible person should be determined in each department who takes care of the topic energy saving in compressed air lines.
A unique compressed air analysis will not be sufficient in order to save energy. By means of intelligent chart recorders changes of the flow rates, leakages and compressed air losses can be recognized reliably.
CS Instruments GmbH will assist you in this case with customized solutions.