Reduce energy costs with intelligent compressed air system
Compressed air is practical and essential for many industrial applications. Next to electricity, compressed air is the most widely used energy source in industrial automation. But compressed air has a high energy consumption and is therefore expensive, especially nowadays. Therefore: Are our compressed air systems really efficient?
Around 75% of the total costs of a compressed air supply are the energy costs necessary for operation. Investment and maintenance costs account for 25% of the costs. Using compressed air efficiently and optimising compressed air processes therefore holds enormous potential for savings in operating costs.
Various studies indicate that energy efficiency in compressed air generation can only be increased with measures in the components and the design of the entire system. Sensors in the compressed air system should be used to collect measured values over the entire compressed air process. Savings can be achieved with just a few measures. But how?
Step 1 is a relatively small effort:
- Adjusting the pressure level to the actual demand: Fixed or adjustable pressure reducing valves at the right place ensure a correct pressure level.
- Reduction of leakage: Leakages can be detected by visually and acoustically checking the system or by measuring the pressure drop over individual pipe sections.
- Regularly control the condensate level at the compressor
- Ensure correct air quality: Filters of the correct dimension ensure the required air quality.
- Shut down the system when production is not running, for example at night or on weekends.
- Shut off unused line networks
Step 2 involves a medium amount of work:
Design the entire system correctly and efficiently thanks to:
- Use of modern, high-performance pneumatic components with low pressure drop.
- Optimising the piping network by reducing flow resistance
- Adjustment of the piping diameter
Step 3 leads to greater effort:
- Use of particularly energy-efficient compressors
- Use of intelligent compressor control
- Installation of level-controlled condensate drains
- Heat recovery of the compressor