With current financial and market pressures, energy conservation has become a priority. Compressed air is a recognized energy consumer with great opportunities for energy savings with a quick payback. Reducing air system pressure is a common action to drive energy savings but it is typically not well received by production and the potential savings can be misleading. In an effort to drive results, this savings opportunity is frequently over simplified and the savings potential exaggerated. Greater detail regarding this action is discussed in hopes of clarifying issues and improving calculated returns.
You probably don't spend much time thinking about all the applications in your plant that require compressed air. But compressed air is a costly utility that can easily account for 1/3 of a plant's total electricity usage.
Yet, compressed air is often viewed as a fixed cost and overlooked when process improvements are considered. If that's the case in your plant, it may be time to revisit that approach. You may be able to save tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars annually by significantly reducing compressed air consumption in your drying and blow-off operations.
In addition to dramatically reducing air consumption, other positive effects can result from making some changes:
Improved worker safety
More precise, repeatable drying and blow-off
So, what types of changes should you consider? If you're using open pipes, pipes with drilled holes or pipes with slits are for drying and blow-off, you should definitely consider air nozzles or air knife packages. While open pipe systems are fast, easy and inexpensive to manufacture, the drawbacks of using open pipes are many:
Very high air and electrical consumption.
High noise — compliance with OSHA noise level requirements can be a problem.
Worker safety can be compromised. High noise can result in hearing loss and injury can result if a worker accidentally blocks the opening in the pipe.
In this white paper, you'll find information on various options including guidelines for usage, cost savings and other benefits.
Optimum configuration for control system, instrumentation, electrical and condition monitoring of reciprocating compressor is presented. Reciprocating compressors are the most flexible and most efficient compressors available. Recommendations regarding inter-stage pressure control, capacity control system, temperature control, performance monitoring, local control panel, irregularity and condition monitoring are discussed.
Installed reciprocating compressor horsepower is approximately three times greater than that of centrifugal compressors, and maintenance costs of reciprocating compressors are approximately 3.5 times greater than those for centrifugal compressors. The expected level of reliability and availability of reciprocating compressors is very high, and it presents a real challenge. Advanced methods of control and condition monitoring shall be applied in order to obtain the high level of performance, safety and reliability.