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Six Compressed Air Tips for Factories to Reduce Costs and Be Green

Compressed air accounts for a significant part of total energy costs for industrial manufacturers - typically about 15% and even as high as 45% in some facilities. Any compressed air energy savings you can achieve will have a big impact on your factory’s total energy consumption, reducing your CO2 emissions and your running costs.  



Here are six best practice tips to help you reduce your running costs by making your compressor installation more energy efficient.

1. Eliminate air leaks

The biggest source of wasted energy in new and old compressed air systems is air leaks. Often, they occur in places that are difficult to see or inspect. Did you know that fixing a small leak/hole around 2mm in size could save you as much as £1,000 a month on your energy bill? HPC can assist by carrying out onsite surveys to help you better understand the operational savings you could achieve.

2. Optimise the compressed air system run times for your factory

Air consumption in an industrial compressed air system typically fluctuates. The accurate control of your compressors will ensure an efficient communication between all components in your compressed air system allowing you to unlock some of the biggest energy savings that can be achieved. The capabilities of an intelligent computer are needed to perform such a complex task and by using a simulation-based calculation will achieve the most efficient operation scenario for your specific factory needs. The combination of local and master control ensure ongoing reduction of energy consumption throughout the entire life cycle of the system.

3. Reduce the set operating cut in pressure

For most compressors, reducing pressure by just 1 bar (14.5 psi) could lead to a 6% saving in electricity consumption. What’s more, the operating mode and pressure settings of the compressor can be adjusted until the optimal cut in pressure is reached, without affecting pressure needed at point of use.

4. Turn compression heat into useful energy with heat recovery

Heat Recovery offers significant savings and allows you to harness waste heat from air compressors. Without heat recovery solutions, the heat is lost into the atmosphere. The amount of electrical energy that can be recovered depends on the type and size of the compressor, but total system heat recovery could be up to 96% of the energy used to run your compressor.

5. Ensure the correct size of compressor is installed

Choosing the wrong size air compressor for your facility can lead to problems with production as well as increased costs due to wasted energy. It could also lead to increased maintenance requirements and poor air quality. When choosing the right type of compressor, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • How much air does my factory/workshop need?
  • What is the minimum pressure needed at point of use?
  • Do you need clean/dry air to a specific quality?
  • Are there fluctuations in flow demand? (e.g. shift changes)
  • Do you have any expansion plans for your factory in the future? 

6. Consider the design of your compressed air system

When looking to design your compressed air system it is important to consider more than just the air that you need at point of use. You must also consider the Air Treatment systems that will be needed to achieve the air quality that you may need. These Air Treatment components may include, refrigerant and desiccant dryers, particulate filters, pipework, condensate management and more. Careful attention in the selection of such components will ensure pressure drops are kept to a minimum while still maintaining the required pressure and air quality.

To assist you with your compressed air system design we have put created a guide to help you. Download a copy of the guide to refer to when selecting your compressed air system.  

Get in touch if you have any questions or are looking for advice about the best compressed air solution for your operation to achieve the lowest total lifecycle costs. HPC KAESER offers a range of products, including blowers and rotary screw compressors supported by experienced and knowledgeable engineers and a nationwide network of authorised distribution partners. Contact us to find out more.