Compressed air systems

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Manage your compressed air system more efficiently

Operating compressed air systems can be expensive. By managing them more efficiently or taking a few proactive steps, you can lower your energy costs and save.

Here are some simple tips to help you save on your compressed air systems.

Inspect and repair systems

Leaks are a significant source of wasted energy in a compressed air system, often wasting as much as 20 to 30% of the compressor's output. Compressed air leaks can also contribute to problems with system operations. Fluctuating system pressures cause air tools and other air-operated equipment to function less efficiently, possibly affecting production.

Repairing leaks can save up to 50% of your compressed air annual energy costs.

Continuously monitor compressed air system

On a continual basis, monitor, check and inspect all components of your compressed air systems for wear, proper temperatures and settings, leaks, proper lubrication and clogged filters.

Use compressed air systems at necessary times only

Use compressed air only when and where it is necessary. Shut down your central compressor during non-working hours. If small amounts of compressed air are required, separate those uses from the main system and supply them from a smaller compressor, such as fire sprinkler systems.

Replace drain valves

Consider replacing your old drain valves with new electronic sensing drains which discharge only when necessary. This can save you five times the purchase price in wasted air each year. Older mechanical float type drain valves often get stuck open and timer-based drains open when not needed.

Set pressures according to required processes

Maintain air pressure at the lowest pressure acceptable. Evaluate your pressure requirements carefully. Some facilities operate at higher working pressures to satisfy small high-pressure applications or to compensate for pressure drops from undersized piping.

Upgrade your compressor filters

Replace old compressor filters with new energy-efficient filters with lower pressure drops.

Maintain air receivers

Maintain the air receiver in good condition and ensure it is drained effectively at regular intervals. A timer and solenoid valve can help. Install compressor air intakes where they will receive the coolest air available.

Examine purge cycle on dryers

Examine the purge cycle on dryers. Often, dryers are purged for longer than is required to dry out material.

How energy management can help

If your facility relies on compressed air, you already know how energy-hungry compressors can be. In fact, the cost to run one can easily exceed the purchase cost within a single year.

Even a modest 200 horsepower compressor can use $50,000 per year in electricity – $1,000,000 over its entire lifespan.

Efficiency upgrades can put a stop to these, resulting in better uptime, less maintenance, and improved productivity.

Program offers

Find out how your business can take advantage of generous funding for compressed air optimization.

For 40 to 200 horsepower systems:

Self-serve incentive program (SIP)

  • Eligibility criteria:  For industrial customers who use more than 500 megawatt-hours of electricity per year (that's about $25,000).
    • For compressed air systems between 40 and 200 horsepower apply for incentives through our online application process.

For systems greater than 200 horsepower:

End-use assessment

  • Eligibility criteria: For systems that use more than one gigawatt-hour of electricity per year, for a 200 horsepower system that's about 6,000 hours of operation.
    • Our efficiency expert will check for inefficiencies and problems in your compressed air system, and then identify your most important areas for further study.
    • Power Smart offers 100 per cent funding (some limits apply).

Energy efficiency feasibility study

  • Eligibility criteria: For systems that use more than one gigawatt-hour of electricity per year, for a 200 horsepower system that's about 6,000 hours of operation.
    • This study will closely analyze specific energy solutions in a single system.
    • The study results will provide the cost/benefit details you need to make strategic decisions.
    • Power Smart offers up to 100% funding.

Project incentives

  • Eligibility criteria: For systems that use more than one gigawatt-hour of electricity per pear, for a 200 horsepower system that's about 6,000 hours of operation.
    • Power Smart offers up to 75% funding of your upgrade costs.
    • Incentive level and limits vary depending on your billing rate class (distribution vs. transmission).