Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 17

Energy University

Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency

Slide 1: Compressed Air VI - Seven Steps to Better Efficiency


Welcome to Compressed Air VI: Seven Steps to Better Efficiency. This is the sixth installment in a series of
courses offered by Energy University on the topic of compressed air systems. If you have not already done
so, it is recommended that you participate in the other Compressed Air courses before taking this course.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 2: Many Thanks to the US Department of Energy & the Compressed Air Challenge
This course was produced using material from the US Department of Energy’s “Improving Compressed Air
System Performance”. The source book is free and available for download from the Compressed Air
Challenge website: www.compressedairchallenge.org.

Slide 3: Welcome
For best viewing results, we recommend that you maximize your browser window now. The screen controls
allow you to navigate through the eLearning experience. Using your browser controls may disrupt the
normal play of the course. Click ATTACHMENTS to download important supplemental information for this
course. Click the Notes tab to read a transcript of the narration.

Slide 4: Objectives
At the completion of this course, you will be able to:
Manage a seven-step action plan to improve the efficiency of your system to save money
Recognize the cost of leaks and benefits of a maintenance program to save energy
List inappropriate uses of compressed air and alternative methods to do the tasks

Slide 5: Introduction
Compressed air is commonly referred to as the fourth utility. Utilities play a major role in the modern world –
without them, today’s technologically advanced society could not function. While compressed air systems
are widespread, they can also be extremely inefficient. Compressed air systems typically consume more
energy and cost more to operate than anything else in industrial environments. All of that can change by
utilizing an action plan that will help reduce inefficiencies, thereby saving valuable assets.

In this class, we will explore a seven step action plan designed to improve the efficiency of any compressed
air system.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 6: Compressed Air Challenge


Seven-Step Action Plan
You can use the Compressed Air Challenge seven-step action plan to bring your compressed air system
under control.
The seven steps to analyze and improve your compressed air system are:

1. Develop a basic block diagram of your compressed air system.


© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
2. Measure your baseline (kW, pressure profile, demand profile, and leak load) and calculate energy
use and costs.
3. Work with your compressed air system specialist to implement an appropriate compressor control
strategy.
4. Once controls are adjusted, re-measure to get more accurate readings of kW and pressures, and
to determine leak load. Recalculate energy use and costs.
5. Walk through to check for obvious preventive maintenance items and other opportunities to reduce
costs and improve performance.
6. Identify and fix leaks and correct inappropriate uses - know costs, re-measure, and re-adjust
controls as above.
7. Re-evaluate all of these steps, begin implementation of awareness and continuous improvement
programs, and report results to management.

If you have the required skills in house you can implement this plan with your compressed air team.
Otherwise you may benefit from outside support from an expert.

Let’s walk through each of these steps now.

Slide 7: Step 1 – Block Diagram


Step 1 is “Develop a basic block diagram of your compressed air system”.

A block diagram is a simple drawing that identifies all the components in the system. This ensures that you
know what all the components are, and can ensure they are adequately covered by preventative
maintenance plans, and replacement provisions as necessary. It also identifies all the points of use which
allows you to analyze the appropriate use of the expensive compressed air.

Here is a simple block diagram for a dual-compressor system, with filter, dryer, receiver, distribution system,
and end uses.

© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
This diagram is for a more complicated facility with 11 compressors, after-coolers, dryers, filters, final filters,
distribution piping and service to large plant loads regulated at the machines.

Slide 8: Step 2 – Measure Baseline


The second step involves measuring your baseline (kW, pressure profile, demand profile, and leak load)
and calculating energy use and costs.

Baselining the system includes:


Defining the quantity, quality and pressure needs of the system
Analyzing how those needs are presently met, including the energy cost

To do this
Measure your baseline (kW, pressure profile, demand profile, and leak load) and calculate energy use and
costs.
Document operating schedules
Document control methods
Measure or estimate power (demand and energy) for each major piece of supply-side equipment
Determine system performance
Calculate the cost of air

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 9: Step 2 – Measure Baseline


On a simplified block diagram, note the system and component pressure at various locations and review
where pressure values and pressure drop levels are of concern.
© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency

A system pressure profile looks like this. Two transmission and distribution piping pressure-drop lines are
shown; a high-loss drop is shown in red line color, and a good system with low pressure-drop is shown with
a green line.

© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
Document:
The operating range of your compressors
The normal expected pressure drop of dryers
Filters as measured on-site, and
The system pressure profiles as distributed to end-users.

Inspect for any opportunities to reduce air pressure supplied to the plant by the air compressors.
Remember the high financial penalty for higher than needed pressure.

Note this diagram is a snapshot of a certain point in time. To get a more complete picture data loggers
should be used to capture the effect of intermittent loads and changing behaviors. Be sure to measure and
document pressure drop in distribution lines and determine if pipe size is adequate.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 10: Step 2 – Measure Baseline


Let’s look at the System Pressure Profile in more detail.

Pressure drop is a term used to characterize the reduction in air pressure from the compressor discharge to
the actual point-of-use. Pressure drop occurs as the compressed air travels through the treatment and
distribution system.

A properly designed system should have a pressure loss of much less than 10% of the compressor’s
discharge pressure, measured from the receiver tank output to the transmission system. The longer and
smaller the diameter the pipe is, the higher the friction loss. In general this means that total pressure drop
should not exceed 1 bar or 15 psi across all compressed air system components, including piping.

Pressure drops caused by corrosion and the system components themselves are important issues. Excess
pressure drop due to inadequate pipe sizing, choked filter elements, improperly sized couplings and hoses
represent energy wastage.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 11: Step 2 – Measure Baseline


A system pressure profile is a good way to baseline the system and start to uncover these issues. To make
this chart you need matched, calibrated pressure gauges or differential pressure gauges. The following
measurements are desired:

Inlet to compressor compared to atmospheric air pressure - to find the pressure drop across the inlet air
filter;
Differential across the air/lubricant separator, if there is one;
Across each stage of the compressor;
Across the aftercooler;
Treatment equipment such as dryers and filters; and
© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
Various points in the distribution system.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 12: Step 2 – Measure Baseline


Compare these measurements with the manufacturer’s specifications and best practices to identify savings
opportunities. If they are larger than specified the equipment may need to be serviced. Typical problem
areas include the aftercooler, lubricant separator, filters, and check valves.

The left hand side shows the supply side drop across the compressors, and secondly the dryers and filters
The right hand side shows the measurements taken at various points in the distribution system.

Enter the pressure measurements on the chart for reference as shown. In this example, the system was
not near full load and has excessive pressure drop that can benefit from improvement.

One cause of unacceptable pressure drops is old distribution piping that was originally designed for another
process that is now too small for current processes. It’s not unusual to find this in older plants where
packaging or other air intensive processes have been added.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 13: Step 3 – Implement Your Strategy


Let’s move on to the third step now, which involves working with your compressed air system specialist to
implement an appropriate compressor control strategy.

The type of control specified for a given system is largely determined by the type of compressor being used
and the facility's demand profile. If a system has a single compressor with a very steady demand, a simple
control system may be appropriate. On the other hand, a complex system with multiple compressors,
varying demand, and many types of end-uses will require a more sophisticated strategy. In any case, give
careful consideration to compressor and system control selection because they can be the most important
factors affecting system performance and efficiency.

In previous classes we discussed Start-stop, Load/Unload, Modulation, multi-step, and variable speed drive
compressors. In addition to these methods of capacity control, single-master and multi-master controls are
used to manage larger systems. Master control systems carefully stage on and off compressors as needed
for minimum energy consumption and offer the advantage of more precise low air pressure supplied to the
site for reliable production.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 14: Step 4 - Remeasure & Recalculate


Our next step is Step 4. Once controls are adjusted, re-measure to get more accurate readings of kW and
pressures, and to determine leak load. Recalculate energy use and costs.

© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
Doing this helps bring the system in line and to establish savings related to improper control settings.
Following these steps will uncover energy waste and needs for repairs out in the system.

Flow meters are valuable in larger systems to measure total flow profiles and to determine normal
consumption and waste. Flow should be measured:
During various shifts to discover variations in end use caused by equipment or operating personnel
As energy saving measures are implemented to monitor, verify savings, and sustain savings over time
For leaks during non-production periods track waste that can be eliminated with off-shift maintenance

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 15: Step 5 – Do A Walk Through


Step 5 involves doing a walk through to check for obvious preventive maintenance items and other
opportunities to reduce costs and improve performance.

Preventative maintenance items can be implemented quickly for immediate savings and improved system
reliability. Implement maintenance at prescribed intervals for compressors, dryers, filters, traps, control
valves, and meters.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 16: Step 6 – Identify & Fix Problem Areas


On to Step 6! Here we identify and fix leaks and correct inappropriate uses; again, you must know costs,
re-measure, and adjust controls.

Be sure to:

Inspect hoses, traps, fittings and valves for obvious maintenance problems or leaks. Look for
excessive pressure drop, high pressure dewpoint levels from dryers, and other issues leading to
energy waste.
Inspect end uses and find failed components or systems such as bag filter houses that use electric
solenoids. These can sometimes fail open undetected and vent a large amount of compressed air.
Know costs, re-measure, and adjust controls.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 17: Consequences of Leaks


Since compressed air is such an expensive utility, leaks can be a very costly source of wasted energy in an
industrial compressed air system. It’s not unusual to find 10% of compressor output wasted in a good
system, 20% in an average one, and 30% or more leakage in a poorly maintained system. On the other
hand, proactive leak detection and repair can reduce leaks to less than 10 percent of compressor output.

In addition to wasting energy, leaks also contribute to other operating losses. Leaks cause a drop in system
pressure, which can make air tools function less efficiently, adversely affecting production. In addition, by
© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
forcing the equipment to run longer, leaks shorten the life of almost all system equipment (including the
compressor package itself). Increased running time can also lead to additional maintenance requirements
and increased unscheduled downtime. Finally, leaks can lead to adding unnecessary compressor capacity.

Leaks are proportional to the system pressure:


Higher pressure = Greater leak flow
Lower pressure = Less leak flow

We can reduce the waste due to leaks by minimizing the system pressure. All unregulated end uses will
use more air when pressure increases, so keeping the system pressure as low as possible saves money.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 18: Consequences of Leaks


Leaks occur all the time in compressed air systems and many are very difficult to find. It will be unusual to
find them all in a single survey, but the largest ones can be found and corrected, and then future surveys
will progressively eliminate more and more leaks.

Common leak locations include pipe joints, drains, couplings, hoses and fittings and filters, regulators and
lubricators. However leaks can occur anywhere in the compressed air system and at any time. Abandoned
air lines can have leaks even when there is no equipment connected, so it’s a good idea to valve off
abandoned lines. Be suspicious of more fragile components such as regulators, solenoids, and control
valves. Also inspect pipe fittings and joints, especially those high and out of reach, and sometimes out of
sight.

Maintenance personnel should inspect compressed air lines weekly. Periodically a leak survey should be
carried out using an ultrasonic leak detector. A quick, non technical method is to walk through the plant
when noisy equipment is not running and listening for the characteristic hissing sound of a leak.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 19: The Cost of Leaks


Let’s look more at the cost of leaks. For your convenience we have provided two different examples: one in
SI units and one in US customary units. We will refer to two charts. Click ATTACHMENTS to download
these charts so you can follow along.

SI Units Example -

Look at the two tables which relate to the flow and cost of air leaks of different sizes at different pressures.

Let’s imagine that you are paying €0.10 per kWh and the efficiency of your compressor is 10.5 kW per 100
CMH.

What would you lose from a leak measuring 1mm in diameter at a pressure of 6.0 bar g?
© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency

A leak of that size would leak 3.89 cubic meters per hour and would cost around €360 per year
A leak twice the diameter, 2 mm, would leak 4 times as much, 15.58 CMH. That would be €1,430 per year
A leak of 5 mm would be over 4 times again, 97.4 CMH, at a cost of nearly €8,960 per year

US Units Example -

Look at the two tables which relate to the flow and cost of air leaks of different sizes at different pressures.

Let’s imagine that you are paying $0.10 per kWh, and the efficiency of your compressor is 18 kW per 100
cfm.

What would you lose from a leak measuring 1/32 inch in diameter at a pressure of 90 psi?

A leak of that size would leak 1.48 cubic feet per minute and would cost around $230 per year
A leak twice the diameter, 1/16 inch would leak 4 times as much, 5.92 CFM. That would be $930 per year
A leak of 1/8 inch would be over 4 times again, 23.7 CFM, at a cost of nearly $3,740 per year

Slide 20: Consequences of Leaks


Imagine the costs of ten, twenty, or a hundred leaks, in different places in your plant. It’s a good idea to
educate personnel about the cost of compressed air. Not only does this prevent inappropriate use, but it
makes it more likely that leaks will be reported to maintenance.

If you have not already done so, you can download charts showing the losses from leaks of various sizes
and various pressures. Click the ATTACHMENTS link.

Note that surveyors typically will not attempt to measure leaks to this degree of accuracy. It’s more
important to identify the larger ones and fix them, than to estimate them all individually.

In summary leak detection and repairs in compressed air systems are essential to efficient operation.

Slide 21: Determining Leak Load


If your compressor has start/stop or load/unload control, it’s easy to estimate the air lost through leaks even
if you do not have a convenient flow meter. Turn off all the end use air operated equipment. Now the only
air that the system is using is through leaks. Time how long it takes for the compressor to load and unload,
or start and stop. Monitor several cycles to get a good reading. This calculation gives the total leakage
percentage.

As mentioned before, this should be less than 10% in a well-maintained system. It can be as high as 20 to
30% in a poorly maintained system.

Slide 22: Determining Leak Load


In systems that have other controls on the compressor, the leakage can be estimated if there is a pressure
© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
gauge downstream of the receiver.

1. The volume of the distribution system must be estimated, by adding the volume of the mains, piping, and
any secondary receivers.
2. Once the delivery network is at full pressure, the compressor is turned off. The delivery valve between
the compressor and the receiver is closed.
3. The pressure gauge is monitored to determine the time (t) in seconds for the pressure to decay by
exactly 1 bar or 15 psi.
4. The leakage rate can be calculated using this formula.

The result will be in cubic metres per second, or litres per second, or cubic feet per second depending on
what units are used for the volume. Note that, at lower system pressures, this method will return less
accurate results.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 23: Determining the Leak Load


A variation of this same method can be used taking two pressure measurements which differ by more than
1 bar or 15 psi. In this case the system is brought to its normal operating pressure p1. The time it takes for
the system to drop to a lower pressure p2 is measured. p2 should be approx 50% of p1. Click the tabs to
view the formula in SI units and in US customary units.

The SI formula to calculate the leakage is shown here:

The leakage is given in cubic metres per hour


V is the system volume
p1 and p2 are the pressure measurements
T is the time in hours for p1 to fall to p2. T can be expressed in minutes, but then the result is cubic metres
per minute, not CMH
1 bar g is atmospheric pressure.
1.25 is an adjustment to correct the leakage to normal system pressure, allowing for reduced leakage as
the system pressure falls.

The US formula to calculate the leakage is shown here:

© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
The leakage is given in cubic feet per minute
V is the system volume
p1 and p2 are the pressure measurements
T is the time in minutes for p1 to fall to p2.
14.7 is atmospheric pressure.
1.25 is an adjustment to correct the leakage to normal system pressure, allowing for reduced leakage as
the system pressure falls.

Slide 24: Leak Rates


Leak rates normally can’t be directly measured, so the surveyor uses his best judgment for sizing each leak
identified.

A small leak of 1.5 CMH or 1 CFM cannot be felt and cannot be heard with just your ear.
A large leak of 150 CMH or 100 CFM will be painfully loud if you are standing close to it.

Surveyors may use an approximate classification of small, medium and large to assign flow values to leaks
they have detected and estimate the costs.

A simple maintenance and repair program can save this site over $21,000 with repair costs that typically
pay back in a few months rather than years.

Slide 25: Appropriate Uses of Compressed Air


Compressed air is usually the most expensive form of energy in a plant. It should only be used if safety
improvements, gains in productivity or reduction in labor is achieved as a result.

© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency

Slide 26: Inappropriate Uses of Compressed Air


Compressed air is also clean, readily available, and simple to use. As a result, compressed air is often
chosen for applications for which other energy sources are more economical. Users should always
consider more cost-effective forms of power before considering compressed air. Many operations can be
accomplished more economically using alternative energy sources. Inappropriate uses of compressed air
include any application that can be done more effectively or more efficiently by a method other than
compressed air.

Examples of potentially inappropriate uses of compressed air include:


Open blowing
Mixing
Sparging
Aspirating
Atomizing
Padding
Dilute-phase transport
Dense-phase transport
Vacuum generation
Personnel cooling
Open hand-held blowguns or lances
Diaphragm pumps
Cabinet cooling

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 27: Inappropriate Uses


Open blowing applies compressed air through an open unregulated tube or hose pipe for clean up, cooling,
drying, draining compressed air lines, and cleaning jams on conveyors. Since the hose is unregulated,
compressed air flows all the time, and the results are mundane. Low pressure blowers, fans, and even
simple brooms and brushes can achieve the same results at far lower costs. If for some reason none of
these alternatives is suitable, a nozzle may be the answer. Nozzles can dramatically reduce the cost of
using valuable compressed air. A 6mm or quarter-inch, open air line at 6.4 bar(g) or 80 psig will probably
cost more than €8,000 or $12,000 per year, depending on local energy prices. Adding an appropriate
nozzle can improve the effectiveness and productivity of the process while cutting compressed air use by
as much as 70 percent.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 28: Inappropriate Uses


There are a number of additional advantages to using nozzles instead of simple tubes:

Nozzles can greatly increase the force of a compressed air stream, developing more thrust with less

© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
compressed air.
Despite using less high-pressure compressed air, nozzles actually increase the amount of delivered air flow
because they are designed to draw in and accelerate ambient air. Some manufacturers claim that well-
designed nozzles can increase overall delivered air flow by a factor of 25 while using less compressed air
than a simple tube.
Many nozzles are adjustable, allowing the user to optimize the amount of air used for a particular
application.
Nozzles, because of the vents in their sides, are more difficult to obstruct than simple cut-off tubes. This
can improve worker safety.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 29: Inappropriate Uses


Air driven mixers may be required in corrosive or explosion-proof areas, but they are often found where an
electric motor may be a better answer.

Sparging is aerating, agitating, oxygenating or percolating liquid with compressed air. Low pressure
blowers and mixers can be used instead – and may actually have better results.

Aspirating is using compressed air to induce another gas to flow. Atomizing is using compressed air to
disperse a liquid, with an aerosol effect. Low pressure blowers may be used instead.

Padding is using compressed air to transport liquids and light solids, for example when unloading a tank.
Low or medium pressure blowers may be used instead.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 30: Inappropriate Uses


Dilute-phase transport is used to move solids such as powders in a diluted format with compressed air. An
alternative is a low or high pressure blower, or a low pressure air compressor.

Dense-phase transport is used to move solids in a batch format. The batch is typically weighed in a
transport vessel, padded with compressed air, forced into a transport line and then moved with a boost of
compressed air at the beginning of the transport pipe. Once a plug of the material is moving the material
may be fluidized with booster nozzles along the path. The material is usually transported to a holding
vessel that dispenses it as needed. This uses control air for the equipment, pad air, transport air and the
booster fluidizers. The peak energy to support this process can be reduced if metered storage is used, and
if a blower can be used for the transport air.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 31: Inappropriate Uses


Vacuum generation applications are used in palletizing, box making and packaging. This is one of the least
efficient applications in industry, with less than 4% total efficiency. If the vacuum is required more than 30%
© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
of the time, it will be more economical to install a central vacuum system instead. In some cases a
dedicated vacuum pump designed into the machine from the beginning could be a better answer.

Personnel cooling is an abuse of the compressed air system when operators direct the flow onto
themselves for ventilation. It is not only an extremely expensive cooling method, but is dangerous because
it can fire particles into the skin. An electric fan can deliver much the same cooling effect for 1% to 4% of
the power.

Open hand-held blowguns or lances must conform to occupational health and safety standards.
Unregulated hand held blowing is a violation of most codes. The proper gun and nozzle must be chosen,
and should have a spring-operated throttle so that is shuts off automatically if dropped.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 32: Inappropriate Uses


Diaphragm pumps are often undersized for the maximum viscosity, pressure and volume that they may
need to serve. As a result they perform poorly and with increased pressure requirements. Not only that,
but they are often installed without regulators or speed control valves, and even when regulators are
installed they are often adjusted higher than necessary. When the pressure setting is above the required
level, more air will enter the diaphragm chamber, but it will not actually do any useful work. The amount of
product transferred stays the same, but the air used is increased. Instead, diaphragm pumps should be
correctly sized and regulators should be properly adjusted to the maximum head expected from the pump.
A flow control valve will provide speed control. Another alternative might be an electric pump.

Cabinet cooling can be found in hot environments where heat-sensitive equipment is located, such as
motor control centers, programmable controllers, relay panels and computer cabinets. Thermoelectric
coolers or air conditioners can do the job more efficiently, using much less energy but make sure to
examine and account for maintenance costs when considering air conditioners.

© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 33: Unregulated Tools & Idle or Abandoned Equipment


Lastly, two general areas of inappropriate use are unregulated tools and abandoned equipment.

Any end use which does not have a fitted pressure regulator will use full system pressure, and potentially
waste air.

Idle or abandoned equipment may be located at the end of a considerable length of distribution piping,
which is prone to leaks and influences the pressure profile of the system.
Air flow to unused equipment should be stopped, preferably as far back in the distribution system as
possible without affecting operating equipment.

Idle equipment is equipment that is temporarily not in use during the production cycle.
For idle equipment an air-stop valve at the compressed air inlet may be the most convenient solution, since
it may be necessary to bring the equipment back into service at short notice.

Abandoned equipment is no longer required, usually due to process changes.


For abandoned equipment, disconnect the air supply and valve off the associated distribution piping.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 34: Step 7 - Revisit, Implement & Report


Step 7 includes:

Re-evaluating all previous Steps 1 through 6;


Begin implementation of awareness and continuous improvement programs;
Report results to management; and
Complete the cycle again.

Compressed air imagery credit: Atlas Copco

Slide 35: Rules of Thumb


Let’s sum up some rules of thumb for the efficiency of compressed air systems

At 7 bar or 100 psig discharge pressure, most air compressors deliver 6.6 to 8.4 CMH per kW or 4-5 CFM
per horsepower.
Every 0.14 bar or 2 psig of pressure changes the power draw of a compressor by 1%.
Efficiency is affected by about 1% for every 5.5°C or 10°F change in inlet air temperature. Warmer
temperature decreases and colder temperature increases efficiency.
Compressors convert 80% to 90% of their incoming energy to heat. 50% to 90% of this can be recovered
and used for thermal energy.
A 37 kW or 50 hp compressor rejects about 30 kW or 100,000 Btu per hour. It is possible to regain a
© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency
significant amount of this in the form of heat recovery, perhaps 24kW or 80,000 Btu per hour.
The power cost for a 1 kW compressor for three shifts, seven days a week (8,760 hours) at €.10/kWh
equals approximately €877 per year. Similarly 1 horsepower on a similar schedule costs approximately
$750 per year.
The control air receiver located after the compressor should be sized for about 2.2 liters per CMH of
compressor capacity or 1 gallon capacity per CFM.
To ensure an effective demand side control management system, the storage air receiver should be sized
for about 4.4 liters per CMH to 8.8 liters per CMH or 2-4 gallon capacity per CFM of compressor capacity.
Total pressure drop should not exceed 1 bar or 15 psi across all compressed air system components,
including piping.

Click ATTACHMENTS to download a copy of this information.

Slide 36: Energy Saving Actions


Here are the top actions you can take to save energy in your compressed air system.

Fix all leaks


Improve end use efficiency
Reduce air pressure to the lowest level required by equipment - save 1 percent in power for every 0.14 bar
or 2 psi pressure reduction
A 0.7 bar or 10 psi drop could result in 5 percent power savings
Compressors generally last longer at lower pressures
Use unloading controls, adjust cascading set points, and apply automatic sequencing, as described in
Compressed Air III
Use pressure-reducing valves at all equipment, which consume air, and set at the lowest possible pressure
Reduce run time
Add primary receiver volume
Shut air off when machines are not in use
Pipe intake to a clean, cool location
Reciprocating compressor capacity can be increased for every drop in temperature
This improvement does not necessarily apply to oil-flooded rotary compressors
Centrifugal compressors are "mass flow" machines, and SCFM or SCMH and horsepower or kW are both
directly affected by inlet air temperature; check manufacturer’s specifications; install, upgrade or adjust
compressor controls

Click ATTACHMENTS to download a copy of this information.

Slide 37: Your Efforts


Be sure your efforts do not negatively impact productivity or reliability.

Take time to do the energy efficiency process right away. Include manufacturing and other stakeholders in
the assessment process so they understand why you are trying to save energy and costs. This chart
depicts tool output capability compared to tool pressure. Your best results are sustained with a team
approach and careful implementation that doesn’t have unwelcome impacts on production.
© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.
Energy University
Compressed Air VI Seven Steps to Better Efficiency

Slide 38: Summary


Let’s summarize what we have learned today:

Leaks can be extremely expensive and should be detected and fixed regularly as part of a maintenance
program.

Compressed air can be inappropriately used for applications such as open blowing, mixing, aspirating,
vacuum generation, personnel cooling and others. Often there are cheaper alternatives or easy
modifications including mixers, blowers, nozzles, and even simple brushes and brooms.

Seven steps to bring your compressed air system under control are:
1. Develop a block diagram
2. Measure your baseline
3. Implement appropriate control
4. Re-measure
5. Maintenance walk-through
6. Identify and fix leaks
7. Re-evaluate and continuously improve

Slide 39: Thank You!


Thank you for participating in this course.

© 2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. All trademarks provided are the property of their respective owners.