After electricity, water and gas, compressed air is considered to be the fourth utility. Usually production critical and very convenient, compressed air is very expensive to generate. Typically, by the time it reaches the end user, the cost of compressed air can be as much as eight times more expensive than 'normal' electricity. With over 10% of industrial electricity demand used for compressing air, a simple analysis can often yield significant savings.
Blocked filters, dirty oil coolers, tired oil and choked intake grills all make the compressor work harder.
Redundant pipework, overtreatment and more pressure than you require are all expensive to fulfil and where these elements can be reduced or eliminated, cost savings can be made. In some situations, compressed air may not be the best solution for the application and a cheaper, more appropriate alternative should be used.
Proper analysis can show detailed fluctuations of plant demand and how this is being met by a combination of compressors switching between lead, lag and standby. It is possible that reconfiguring running patterns can make significant savings. In some cases simply turning off compressors that are not required; an idling compressor can still use 40% of its full load.
Perhaps the most obvious savings can be made by addressing air leaks. Air leaks in a system can represent between 20-30% of a compressor's output and contribute to indirect costs and operating losses. Our compressed air leak detection surveys are carried out while your plant and equipment is operational. There is no interruption to your operations during a survey and they are conducted without having to touch or isolate any plant or equipment and are extremely cost-effective.
As systems are in constant use and therefore under constant pressure fluctuations, leaks develop continuously. We recommend having an ongoing leak test and repair programme in place as leaks reappear and a 3mm hole could cost over £600/year in wasted energy.