13 Apr 2016

Stage-wise Energy Savings for a Compressed Air System

Leaks cost big money, compressed air systems are widely used throughout the industries and if not maintained and audited on a regular basis, are bound to have leakages which can contribute significantly to the facilities cost of energy.

Thus, it is essential t​o address ​this problem​ through the development of a ​comprehensive ​leak management program. These cost saving radiate out in the form of possible cost reduction​s​ of ​25-50% and ​ hence result in ​higher profit margins for the company. Companies presently starting at Level 1 ​as seen in the image, are unaware of their current compressed air leakages​ and, with a proper leakage program in place ​can ​reach Level 4 eventually​. ​The objective of a leakage management program is to cut down the leakages and energy wastage​s​ in a plant​ ​to under 5%. Leakages supervene when the compressed air systems are not maintained the way it is needed to prevent wastage of energy.

The factors include:

  • non establishment of cost​ of leakages​,
  • ​no measuring and monitoring of the demand and supply,​ ​
  • poor optimization,
  • non established​ norms for​ air quality,
  • poor or no leakage management which ​can ​critically ​a ​affect the system as a whole and may result ​ in​ an​ increase in cost​s.
  • Leaks can make the future Bleak. Cost reduction aims at the elimination of wasteful elements in​ a planned​ method ​which are an integral part of ​the LMS program​. A continuous ​monitoring ​system in place ​is ​also ​needed to ​identify and arrest the compressed air systems from leakages​ on a daily basis​.​ This moves the company's energy management initiative to the next level as can be seen in the image. Optimization of ​all ​compressed air application​s​ is ​a mandatory energy saving measure ​which can follow after the LMS program is complete. Beside​s​ measuring real time of all critical parameters, a well supervised system can ​achieve​ ​the magic figure of a ​less than 5% leakage rate. A cost effective leak ​management program should be a part of an overall program aimed at improving the performance of compressed air systems making it more efficient.