Optimizing compressed air in a pulse jet dust collection system

By Hank van Ormer

Many production facilities have a significant number of dust collectors. Many have continuing problems with short bag life and low-pressure problems at the furthest points from the central air system.

Many production facilities have a significant number of dust collectors. Many have continuing problems with short bag life and low-pressure problems at the furthest points from the central air system. They often run on timers. When they try to run on demand control, they often get extreme short cycling, which causes even more bag problems. On at least half of the dust collectors, most have gauges at the entry; some of the gauges are even operational. Often, the compressed air feed lines are the same size as the connector opening. Proper operation of dust collectors is critical to minimizing cost and maximizing system effectiveness. There are many types and sizes, and many use a pulse of compressed air to clear the bag or filter. The pulse is usually controlled by a timer which may or may not have an auxiliary demand control. The timers are generally set by the operators to what they believe is appropriate for proper cake removal and bag life.

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lead hank van ormer2Hank van Ormer has been associated with the compressed air and gas business for more than 40 years. During this time, he has audited 800 compressed air systems throughout the United States, including plant associated with General Motors, Nestlé, Saint-Gobain, IBM, John Deere, General Electric, Boeing, and Ford. He has hands-on knowledge in operating and maintaining compressed air equipment, developed from years of experience in servicing and overhauling compressed air equipment, representing nearly every make, model, and manufacturer. In 1986, van Ormer founded his independent consulting company, AirPower USA. He’s developed accredited training courses for continuing education and a complete curriculum for technical colleges. He’s led more than 100 training workshops for plant engineers, maintenance staff, and purchasing managers. Van Ormer also is responsible for having developed unconventional approaches to system design, including large header collection designs instead of by-pass piping and creating piping layouts to minimize turbulence-generated back pressure.

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