Compressed Air

Air Is Free – it is all around us – it costs nothing – oh the bliss of ignorance – yes honestly even now in the 21st Century people still fail to appreciate that air – specifically compressed air – is one of the most expensive resources used in the workplace.  The truth of the matter is that compressed air accounts for more than 10% of ALL energy used in industry in the UK.

Compressed Air is expensive because it takes lots of electricity to generate it and so at point of use it is costing your company around £1.00/kWh. 

Now tell me fixing leaks isn’t worthwhile.  Finding them is tricky sometimes – I mean obviously some are clear as day – hissing away in the background – but how many times does anyone do anything about them?  Not enough is the simple answer folks.  hand tools, flanges, valves, oil traps, broken hoses – the list goes on – the costs mount up.  Locating, identifying, tagging, reporting, fixing and then checking again should be standard practice wherever compressed air is being used. 

It is amazing how easy people find it to waste compressed air:

– inappropriate use – for example cleaning duties – blowing swarf, dust, wood shavings etc when manual brushing or low power blowers would suffice – also tank agitation;

– using an entire system to satisfy one local high pressure application (local boosters are readily available folks);

– setting system pressure too high – not many processes need 10 bar you know;

– locating compressors in hot dirty plant rooms with no ventilation – remember the colder the intake air the easier it is to compress – and remember the dirtier the filters the more resistance to air intake and so the whole system works harder than needed;

– using inefficient dryers – or not even drying the air all;

– leaving compressors running 24/7 when operations don’t follow the same pattern – leaks then keep the whole thing churning over;

Oh the list goes on and on and all leads to one thing – wasted electricity = wasted money.

Unloaded Operation is one of my biggest survey findings.  Typical example from a recent survey is an 11kW fixed speed compressor which – when the control panel was interrogated – was found to have run for 14,600 hours of which only 6,800 hours were loaded.  So that’s 54% of the time when it has run unloaded – performing no useful work at all but still consuming around 60% of full load, that is 51,480kWh of wasted electricity worth £6,435 to the company involved.

My job is to root out these problems and provide you with tangible solutions.  

Lets talk. Email me for details of this service.