Case Study : Compressed Air Demand & Energy Auditing (Paint Manufacturing Company)

compressed air energy auditing sydney

Compressed air efficiency audits.

» The Problem

A prominent paint manufacturer in Western Sydney requested assistance due to regular low-pressure events in the factory and the presence of liquid water contaminating their airlines and affecting production. They were concerned about having a lack of compressed air capacity as all three of their compressors were running during production

» The Solution

Compressed Air Technology performed a comprehensive air demand & energy audit to work out how much air the plant was consuming and how the air was being generated. Data loggers, flow meters, pressure sensors, dew point sensors and temperature probes were temporarily installed at the compressor station, along with remote pressure sensing at the far end of the facility.

The audit revealed some interesting findings :

Installed Capacity (2 x 55kW & 1 x 75kW)34 m3/min (at 7.5barg)
Average Plant Demand11.2 m3/min
Peak Plant Demand18.6 m3/min
Non-Productive Demand4.95 m3/min

It was noted that, at any time, there should only be two compressors required to meet demand. The compressors were operating on their own internal pressure controllers and were reacting per their individual set points.

Additionally, there were mainline filters installed on the outlets of each compressor, and it was suspected the pressure drop through these filters was having an adverse effect on the pressures the compressors were ‘seeing’. The compressors were fighting for control of the system resulting in delayed reaction to pressure drops, hence the short duration low pressure events

The refrigerated air dryer appeared to be working well. It was well sized, with a clean condenser and functioning autodrain. It was noted, however, that the two wet receiver tanks upstream of the dryer were accumulating bulk water due to faulty autodrains. It was suspected liquid water was being swept through the dryer in the compressed air stream and subsequently the production lines.

» The Outcome

The filters installed at the compressor outlets were removed completely. A new 1 micron coalescing filter was installed upstream of the dryer along with a 0.01 micron coalescing filter downstream of the dryer

Now that the compressors were ‘seeing’ a common pressure, the set points were adjusted so that the 75kW variable speed machine ran as the primary compressor with one of the two fixed speed 55kW machines coming online at times of high demand. During standard production the two fixed speed compressors were stopped (consuming zero power). Energy savings were calculated at $57,240 per year for an investment of just $7,290.

Electronically controlled zero-condensate drains a with heavy duty strainers were installed to both wet receiver tanks along with manual bypasses to remove liquid water from the receiver tanks and to prevent carry over into the distribution system. Additionally, zero-condensate drains were installed to the two filters upstream and downstream of the dryer.

The site now runs comfortably on one 75kW VSD compressor with a single fixed speed unit coming online only at times of high demand. The unloaded running hours are now negligible. Liquid moisture is now removed from the system allowing the dryer to perform as designed. After an initial ‘flush out’ period, the airlines are free from liquid water and production is not being affected.

» Our Recommendations

Our compressed air efficiency specialists recommended the following action be taken to further improve the overall system reliability and efficiency : 

  • Installation of a permanent compressed air monitoring system to measure key metrics such as air consumption, power consumption and air quality continuously
  • Installation of a centralised compressor controller to ensure excess compressors aren’t running
  • Installation of additional storage downstream of the dryer as the two primary receivers are considered undersized
  • Installation of a new condensate management system to ensure bulk liquid is adequately removed
  • Investigation and reduction of the non-productive compressed air demand through a comprehensive Leakage and Artificial Demand Survey
MORE INFORMATION

For assistance with compressed air demand and energy auditing, contact our friendly team.  We work with compressed air operators across all industries in Sydney and Australia-wide.

FURTHER READING

compressed air efficiency audits


compressed air energy audits sydney

Compressed Air Technology

Compressed air specialists Sydney + Australia

Compressed Air Technology are specialist consultants and contractors for the compressed air industry. Working with industrial compressed air operators to maximise efficiency, reliability and productivity. We design, supply, install, monitor and certify compressed air systems for a wide range of industries Australia wide.

Our independence is the key to our success

Huge increases in the cost of energy has seen the company start to focus on energy management. We are now regularly called upon in a consulting capacity to design compressed air systems that are efficient as well as reliable and safe. Our independence is key to our success, we are not encumbered by the constraints of a typical compressor dealer, we design each system with an open mind and scour the market for equipment that best suits our clients needs.

Helpful links : Compressed air system design | New air compressor installations | Compressed air system sales

We use specialist compressed air equipment

The company has invested heavily in specialist instrumentation equipment and the training of personnel to operate and understand measurement and monitoring methods for compressed air and gas systems. Our whole approach sets Compressed Air Technology apart from the crowd, we believe in what we do, are passionate about compressed air and strive to build long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with a wide range of clients across a variety of sectors.

Helpful links : Air compressor services | Compressed air evaluation & audits | Compressed air leak detection | Compressed air quality testing

air compressor equipment sales

Medical industry compressed air equipment sales

Buying a new air compressor? Do you really understand the compressed air requirements of your plant? Do you know how much air your equipment consumes and at what pressure? Are you aware that the single biggest cost associated with owning and operating an air compressor system will be the electricity costs required to run it?

Over a typical 10 year air compressor life cycle, the cost of energy will account for around 75%-80% of total costs, dwarfing the initial costs associated with equipment purchase, installation and maintenance.

Independent air compressor sales advice

Before you contact the usual air compressor dealers, consider getting your current or proposed new system properly appraised, so that you can be sure you are buying what you actually need as opposed to what you are being sold.

At Compressed Air Technology, we make the effort to actually measure and monitor your system BEFORE you proceed with a high value purchase, ensuring the lifetime ownership costs are kept to a minimum.

As an independent operator, not tied to any particular brand, we have access to a huge range of premium quality equipment that is selected to ensure compressed air is supplied to your plant at the correct volume, pressure and quality, with a heavy focus on reliability.

We also supply a range of piping systems including aluminium, copper, stainless steel, HDPE and many more

Contact us for an obligation free compressed air system assessment on 1300 663 113

compressed air system design

Compressed air system design

Too often we see the wrong compressors installed for the application.  A great deal on a larger compressor may look appealing initially, but seldom does anyone point out the additional electrical costs incurred to run it over the ten or so years it will be in operation.

Our approach tends to differ from that of a traditional compressor dealer, we believe in spending time with our clients to get to know the true compressed air requirements so that the correct equipment can be evaluated and selected accordingly.

We take a similar approach to designing your piping and distribution systems. Remember, a compressed air system is only as efficient as its installation. We often hear clients complain they are ‘running out of air’, when the fact is their compressors are perfectly cable of supplying their processes, but restrictions in piping and poor design are leading to pressure drop and subsequent equipment malfunction.

More information about air compressor design »

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Compressed air machine installation

A compressed air system is only as effective as the installation allows it to be. A properly installed compressed air system will deliver a return on investment time after time. Understanding compressed air and its unique characteristics is the key to our success.

Our team of dedicated compressed air installers are true industry specialists. Installing compressed air systems on a daily basis ensures we are kept up to speed with the latest advancement in technologies.

More information about air compressor installation »

compressed air system efficiency audit

Compressed air efficiency audits

Have you considered how much your compressed air system costs to run? Many business owners haven’t and it’s a common misconception that compressed air is free.  It’s only air, right? Wrong!

Compressed air is expensive!

Did you know that compressed air is one of the most expensive forms of energy used in industry today?

Often termed the ‘Fourth Utility’, compressed air is just as important to some businesses as electricity, water or gas. It is also very expensive to produce when you consider it takes approximately 7hp of electrical power to produce just 1hp of compressed air power…

10-15% of all industrial electricity is used to general compressed air.

More information about air compressor efficiency audits »

compressed air system monitoring audit

Compressed air repairs and leak detection

Did you know that most compressed air systems have leaks? Studies show that system leaks typically account for between 20-50% of compressor output, potentially wasting thousands of dollars every year. Most leaks are quick and easy to fix. Ask us how…

At Compressed Air Technology we offer a range of leakage detection and repair programs to suit all businesses and budgets. Our state of the art Ultra Sonic Leak Detectors and factory-trained technicians are used to detect system leaks, and repairs can often be carried out on the spot, generating instant savings.

More information about air compressor repairs and leak detection »