Compressed Air Leaks
Air leaks are typically the largest source of waste in a compressed air system. Many leaks are easy to find and repair, providing a quick payback. But some leaks can be difficult to repair or access, so a completely leak-free air system may not be possible. The key is to minimize the leak rate to minimize your energy waste.
Three common leak sources are quick-connectors, pressure regulators, and threaded connections. And again, most of these are in areas where repairs are quick and easy once the system is depressurized.
Cost of compressed air leaks
Over-Pressurized Compressed Air Use
When air is used at a pressure higher than needed to complete the value added work, air is wasted. Many times the main air header pressure is higher than needed for most applications in a facility. By reducing the header pressure by 2 psi a facility can save 1% of the compressed air electrical consumption. Adding point of use regulation will add more savings and minimize the facilities compressed air waste.
Unnecessary Compressed Air Use (non value added)
This can be a huge source of compressed air waste. We have often seen wasteful unneeded compressed air used for cooling, cleaning, etc. when working with a customer during an audit or system assessment. Many times employee’s just did not know how much compressed air costs and that they were wasting so much energy.
Obsolete or Worn-Out Equipment
When your compressed air equipment gets old, even if you have been conducting world class preventative maintenance, it can fall behind the technology curve. Air compressors, dryers, filtration, and controls continue to advance technology which results in higher energy efficiency. Aging compressors tend to lose energy efficiency with age due to wearing sealing surfaces. Air dryers and filtration will generate increasing pressure drop as air flow and materials degrade. By keeping a watchful eye on long term energy consumption trends, you will know the right time to upgrade equipment for your company.