Compressed air systems
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
- Continuously monitor compressed air system
- Use compressed air systems at necessary times only
- Replace drain valves
- Set pressures according to required processes
- Upgrade your compressor filters
- Maintain air receivers
- Examine purge cycle on dryers
- How energy management programs can help
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.
Find out how your business can take advantage of generous funding for compressed air optimization.
For 40 to 300 horsepower systems:
Self-serve incentive program (SIP)
Eligibility criteria: For industrial customers who use more than 500 megawatt-hours of electricity per year.
- Compressed air systems between 40 and 300 horsepower are eligible for incentives through our online application process.
- For systems greater than 300 horsepower, connect with your Key Account Manager or call the Business Helpdesk.