Case Study: Compressed Air & Energy Management Audit (Aluminium Producer)

compressed air energy management audits

Monitoring and rectifying compressed air low-pressure issues.

» THE PROBLEM

A producer of extruded aluminium products in Western Sydney requested assistance to diagnose a recurrent issue they were having with low pressure on their compressed air system. Plant management concluded they required a larger air compressor and wanted to know what size machine they should install.

» BACKGROUND

The system has a single 37kW Champion CSE37 compressor with a rated output of 6.10m3/min at 7.8bar. They also have a (wet) receiver, refrigerated air dryer and filtration. An initial inspection by Compressed Air Technology revealed the compressor running an average load/unload duty cycle of just 51% and a steady plant pressure. When quizzed, site personnel advised the low-pressure events happened when they were cleaning down the spray booth after a product changeover. Time to investigate further….

» THE SOLUTION

Compressed Air Technology performed a comprehensive air demand & energy audit to work out exactly how much air the plant was consuming on average and how much air was required for the clean down processes. Data loggers, flow meters, pressure sensors, dew point sensors and temperature probes were temporarily installed to monitor the system for a period of two weeks

The audit revealed some interesting findings :

Champion CSE37 (37kW) Rated Capacity6.1 m3/min
Average Plant Demand3.2 m3/min
Peak Plant Demand>6.1m m3/min
Non-Productive Demand0.4 m3/min

Data analysis showed that while the air compressor was running loaded on average just 51% of the time, when the spray booths were being cleaned down, the air flow increased beyond the capacity of the compressor and pressure started to fall, sometimes as low as 4.5barg

The following issues were also noted :

  • Compressor output was down by 9% (unit is 15yrs old and had 65k running hours without an air-end overhaul)
  • The distribution piping (Calair PE100 40mm) was undersized causing excessive pressure drop due to a restrictive ID of just 29mm
  • The ‘blowers’ being used to clean down the spray booths were of the ‘homemade’ variety and were basically a long length of open tube with an isolation valve
  • The system had no regulators on the airlines to the blowers

compressed air energy management audit

» THE OUTCOMES

Site management advised the production facility was under review and would likely be relocating to a larger facility in a short time, which would quite possibly lead to increased compressed air requirements and a whole new system design, hence they didn’t want to invest too much capital at this stage.

With this in mind, Compressed Air Technology set about reducing compressed air demand used for cleaning down. With the elimination of compressed air ruled out, we sourced high-efficiency blowers that consumed far less air than the original ‘homemade’ blowers. A point of use storage vessel was installed at the spray booths to increase stored capacity and clean down guidelines were published for workers to restrict the number of blowers in use at any one time. Finally, regulators were installed at the point of connection for the blowers and the air was regulated as specified by the blower OEM

With the benefit of data from the compressed air audit, we were able to diagnose the problem and design a solution to fit the short term needs of the business.

Compressed air demand & efficiency audits are performed by our team of experts and provide a detailed overview of your system parameters such as;

  • Average compressed air flow demand
  • Peak compressed air flow demand
  • Non-productive compressed air flow demand
  • Compressor performance
  • Compressor energy consumption
  • System running costs
  • System efficiency
  • Dryer performance
  • Pressure profile

More information

For assistance with all aspects of the design, installation, commissioning and on-going analysis of your compressed air system on 1300 663 113 or complete our online enquiry form.  We work with industrial compressed air operators across all industries in Sydney and Australia-wide.

 

Compressed air specialists 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 Superior Compressed Air Solutions 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

Waste and recyling 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

Waste and recycling industry 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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Waste and recycling industry 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

Waste and recycling industry 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

Waste and recycling industry 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 a 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 »