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Compressed Air Technology – Concept Compressed Air Background Important industrial energy source Inherently inefficient Consumes up to 20% of industrial electrical usage $$$ Great energy & cost savings potential! Lifetime Operation vs. First Cost

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compressed air

Compressed Air

Technology – Concept

compressed air background
Compressed Air Background
  • Important industrial energy source
  • Inherently inefficient
  • Consumes up to 20% of industrial electrical usage

$$$

Great energy & cost savings potential!

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

lifetime operation vs first cost
Lifetime Operation vs. First Cost

Typical Lifetime Compressed Air Costs Over 10 years

Assumptions include a 75-hp compressor operated two shifts, 5 days a week at an aggregate electric rate o $0.05/kWh over 10 years of equipment life.

Source: US Dept of Energy, Office of Industrial Technologies: Compressed Air Tip sheet #1. http://www.oit.doe.gov/bestpractices/pdfs/compressed_air1.pdf

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

compressed air energy

}

One horsepower of compressed air

yields . . .

Compressed Air Energy
  • Inefficient power source even if well maintained

Eight compressor horsepower

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

compressed air energy5
Compressed Air Energy

Ratio: 8:1

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

compressed air system
Supply

Compressor

System Controls

Air Dryer

Aftercoolers

Air Filters

Primary Storage

Flow controls

Distribution

Air piping

Filters, lubricators, regulators

End Uses

Pneumatic tools

Mechanical drive

Blowers

Vacuum generators

Etc . . .

Compressed Air System

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

supply compressor types
Supply – compressor types

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

supply compressors
Supply – compressors
  • Reciprocating
    • Very efficient
    • Requires frequent maintenance
    • Can be equipped for very efficient part loading
    • Can be multistaged

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

supply compressors9
Supply – compressors
  • Rotary Screw
    • Easy to install
    • Enables modulation control
    • Easy to maintain
    • Can be single or double staged

Source: Gardner Denver

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

supply control types

(Outlet modulation)

(Inlet)

On/Off (not pictured)

(Inlet)

Supply – control types

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

variable speed drive compressors
Variable Speed Drive Compressors
  • Allows precise matching of supply and demand
  • Extremely efficient at low load
  • Less efficient that standard compressors at full load
  • Retrofitting standard compressors is problematic
  • Not ideal for every application
  • Best for precise constant pressure applications

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

supply dryers
Supply – dryers
  • Refrigerated dryers
    • Utilized mechanical cooling
    • Air dew point limited by water freezing point

(35º -40º F)

    • Relatively inexpensive
    • Generates condensate

Source: Smargon

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

supply dryers13
Regenerative desiccant

Water vapor is adsorbed by desiccant fill

Low air dew points (-40ºF to -100ºF

Heated or unheated

Requires 3-15% purge air

No condensate generated

Supply – dryers

Source: Palatek

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

efficient compressed air systems
Efficient compressed air systems
  • Proper performance yields
    • Low operating costs
    • Minimal downtime
    • Clean, dry, dependable air
    • Effective process control

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

why make a change

Save energy (25% or more)

  • Reduce downtime
  • Produce clean, dry air
  • Eliminate maintenance crises

$$$

Why make a change?

Great energy & cost savings potential!

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

benchmarking
Benchmarking
  • Determine average power draw (kW)
  • Determine total energy costs
  • Determine marginal generation efficiency (kW/scfm)
    • Calculate energy savings potential for system improvements
  • Worksheet “Estimate Your Compressed Air Cost”

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

common problem areas
Common problem areas
  • Air Leaks
  • No heat recovery
  • High pressure drop
  • Insufficient air storage
  • Ineffective control strategy
  • Multiple compressor operation not optimized
    • Base load vs. trim compressor
  • Inappropriate end uses
  • Poor record keeping
    • Electric usage
    • Air production

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

air leaks
When was your last leak survey?

Poorly maintained systems

Up to 40% leak rate

Pressure problems

“We need to install another compressor.”

Air leaks

Leak surveys should be conducted quarterly!

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

heat recovery
Heat recovery

}

8 compressor horsepower yields 1 horsepower of compressed air . . .

Where does the other 7 horsepower go????

HEAT.

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

heat recovery21
Heat recovery
  • 80% of compressor input power may be recoverable
  • Possible uses
    • Space heating
    • Hot water heating
    • Drying/curing room heating
    • Heat source for desiccant dryer
  • 100 hp @ full load  300,000 Btu/hr

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

heat recovery22

Winter Operation

Compressor

Hot air to Plant

Heat recovery

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

heat recovery23

Hot air Exhausted

Summer Operation

Compressor

Heat recovery

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

pressure drop compressor room

High ΔP filters

Short radius elbows

“Tee” junctions

Unnecessary piping

High ΔP dryer

Pressure drop – compressor room

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

pressure drop continued
Pressure drop (continued)
  • Distribution
  • Worksheet “Calculating the Cost of High Pressure Drop”

GOAL:0 – 4 psig pressure drop in compressor room

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

air storage
Rule of Thumb – 4 gallons of storage per compressor cfm

Remote storage for high periodic demands

Wet vs. dry storage

Piping rule

In at the bottom – Out at the top!

Air storage

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

air storage compressor loading
Air Storage – Compressor Loading

100 hp compressor with load/unload controls

Loaded

Blow down

Unloaded

Unloaded

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

air storage compressor loading28

Average Power = 82.9 kW

Air Storage – Compressor Loading

Inadequate Storage (1 gal/cfm)

Compressor is fully loaded (delivering air) for 130 seconds

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

air storage compressor loading29

Average Power = 63.0 kW

Air Storage – Compressor Loading

Improved Storage (3 gal/cfm)

Compressor is fully loaded (delivering air) for 130 seconds

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

air storage30

Energy Savings

Air Storage

Generalized energy savings for increased storage in load/unload compressors

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

compressor controls
Compressor controls
  • Control strategies impact compressor energy consumption

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

compressor controls32
Compressor controls
  • “Using the Most Efficient Control Strategy” worksheet

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

inappropriate end uses
Inappropriate End Uses
  • Anything that can be done…
    • More effectively by another method
    • More efficiently by another method

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

inappropriate end uses examples
Inappropriate End Uses - Examples
  • Open blowing - Cooling, drying, clean-up
  • Sparging - Aerating, agitating, oxygenating, percolating
  • Aspirating - Inducing flow in another gas (e.g., flue gases)
  • Atomizing - Dispersing or delivering a liquid to a process as an aerosol
  • Dilute phase transport - Transporting solids such as powders
  • Dense phase transport - Transporting solids in batches

continued…

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

inappropriate end uses examples35
Inappropriate End Uses - Examples
  • Vacuum generation - used with a venturi to generate negative pressure mass flow
  • Personnel cooling
  • Open blowguns or lances
  • Diaphragm pumps
  • Cabinet cooling

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

application of new technologies concepts
Application of new technologies/concepts
  • Variable speed compressors
  • Zero loss drains
  • Air amplifying nozzles
  • Solenoid shut off valves
  • Demand Controller

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

zero loss drains
Timer drains either:

Waste air

Fail to remove all liquid

Zero loss drains remove liquid with no air loss

Zero Loss Drains

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

air amplifiers
Amplifiers entrain still air to increase air flow from blowing components

Advantages

Increase blowing force

Significantly reduced compressed air usage

Reduced noise

Fully adjustable

Applications

  • Air curtains/knives
  • Hand blow guns
  • Blow off manifolds
Air Amplifiers

Source: ARTX

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

electric solenoid valves
Reduce leaks in piping to equipment that is shut off

Timer control

Machine panel control

Manual control

Electric Solenoid Valves

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

demand controllers
Demand Controllers
  • Isolate supply side from demand side of system
  • Appropriate only with adequate storage
  • Help reduce air usage by minimizing pressure delivered to end users

Source: Zeks Compressed Air Solutions

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

how do i optimize the performance of my compressed air system
Implementation requires participation

Production

Maintenance

Management

Improving system performance

Assessing the entire system

Identifying opportunities

Quantifying benefits and costs

Implementing most feasible projects

How do I optimize the performance of my compressed air system?
  • Systems approach (supply and demand)

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

iac implementation trends and analysis
IAC implementation trends and analysis

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

how to start
How to start
  • Steps in evaluating your system
  • Monitoring needs
  • Best Practices
  • Pitfalls

Treat compressed air like a fourth utility.

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

steps to evaluate your system
Steps to Evaluate Your System
  • Determine the cost of your air
  • Check for air leaks
  • Replace all dirty filters with high efficiency filters
  • Set efficient control strategies
    • Base loaded compressors – modulating control
    • Trim compressors – Load/unload control
  • Pressure issues
    • Check that all end use pressures are regulated
    • Check for excessive generation pressure (<10 psi drop between compressor and highest end user)
  • Address inappropriate end uses
  • Check for adequate storage (>3 gal/cfm)
  • Shut down idle compressors
  • Check for moisture in storage tanks and drip legs

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

monitoring
Monitoring
  • Air Pressure Problems
  • Compressor Loading
  • Power consumption
  • Air Consumption
  • Track using MS Excel or similar program

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

pitfalls
Pitfalls
  • Running at too high a pressure
  • Considering compressed air as a free utility
  • Higher pressure = more air
  • Adding compressor horsepower to combat pressure problems
    • Always have a compressed air audit completed before adding additional compressors.
  • Inadequate storage/piping

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

iso 14000
ISO 14000
  • Formalized method for identifying and documenting process improvements
  • Can be used for benchmarking
  • Proper use can lead to significantly reduced energy costs
  • All program goals are set by company
  • Benchmarking

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

benchmarking revisited

Re-Assess

Goals

Benchmarking revisited
  • Benchmarking should be part of a larger plan

Commit to

Continuous

Improvement

Implement

Action Plan

Create

Action Plan

Assess

Performance

Set

Goals

Evaluate

Progress

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

assessing resources

In house assessment

    • Tools available from US DOE Air Challenge Program
  • US DOE Industrial Assessment Centers
  • Energy Resources Center @ UIC
  • Private energy service companies
Assessing Resources

 GO TO Compressed Air Resource List

  • Equipment manufacturers

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

assessment resources
Assessment Resources
  • Energy Resources Center @ UIC www.erc.uic.edu - can provide expertise in industrial compressed air systems, also will perform energy assessments for industrial clients.
  • Industrial Assessment Centers http://www.oit.doe.gov/iac/ - will provide energy assessments (including compressed air systems) free of charge to qualified industrial clients.
  • US DOE Compressed Air Challenge Program http://www.compressedairchallenge.org/ - provides a wide range of technical assistance materials, tools, and services to the industrial market.
  • National Association of Energy Service Companies http://www.naesco.org/ - trade organization of companies that will perform energy audits and finance improvements.
  • Rutgers IAC “Self Assessment Guide” http://iac.rutgers.edu/manuals/selfassessment.pdf - guide to assessing industrial plants for energy efficiency.

US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series

assessment resources53
Assessment Resources
  • Energy Resources Center @ UIC www.erc.uic.edu - can provide expertise in industrial steam systems, also will perform energy assessments for industrial clients.
  • Industrial Assessment Centers http://www.oit.doe.gov/iac/ - will provide energy assessments (including steam systems) free of charge to qualified industrial clients.
  • US DOE Steam Challenge Program http://www.oit.doe.gov/bestpractices/steam/ - provides a wide range of technical assistance materials, tools, and services to the industrial market.
  • National Association of Energy Service Companies http://www.naesco.org/ - trade organization of companies that will perform energy audits and finance improvements.
  • “Steam System Survey Guide” http://www.oit.doe.gov/bestpractices/steam/pdfs/steam_survey_guide.pdf - guide to assessing industrial steam systems.
  • Rutgers IAC “Self Assessment Guide” http://iac.rutgers.edu/manuals/selfassessment.pdf - guide to assessing industrial plants for energy efficiency.

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US DOE – Industries of the Future Workshop Series