If your air compressor has been used for a long time, the machine is slow, hangs often, pressure drops, shutdown itself or stops working. And the maintenance cost is very high, cannot meet your application needs any longer. It might be time to look for a new air compressor in order to save energy and enhance the potential of your production system.
You should have one of our specialists visit for a checkup to determine the cause. The internal problems of the air compressor are caused by the fault of the main components inside the machine. Compare between the cost of repairs and the cost of purchasing a new, more efficient unit; which one is more worthwhile?
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Energy Conservation Guidelines for Compressed Air Systems
1. Replace with a high efficiency air compressor
Air compressor efficiency is very important factor in the energy consumption of a compressed air system. Because the air compressor has moving parts that cause constant wear. After long service life, this can result in losses due to more than 50% lower efficiency compared to new compressors. Due to 2 main reasons, the performance of the device is lower and technology developed.
Therefore, the actual performance of the air compressor should be checked regularly in order to assess the cost-effectiveness of switching to a high-efficiency air compressor. Also it can evaluate the electricity saving per year for the replacement of high-efficiency air compressors.
2. Reducing compressed air leaks
In addition to pressure loss, most of the losses occur in compressed air systems are caused by compressed air leakage. which almost no compressed air system where there is no leakage. And by standard, a compressed air leak is not more than 5% of the total compressed air produced.
To check the compressed air leak
This must be done while the compressed air is not being used in the machine/equipment with the following steps:
- Stop the compressor, open the air supply valve from the tank and all valves in the system.
- Run the compressor and the timer used while the machine is working (TLoad) and stopped (TUnload)
- Calculate % leakage = [TLoad/ (TLoad+ TUnload)] x 100
- The amount of compressed air leak = percentage of leakage x compressed air production rate
3. Adjusting the pressure drop
Pressure setting often neglected in its use. The pressure is often set higher than necessary. This, in addition to wasting energy in vain, also results in lower compressed air volumes. Therefore, it is important to check whether the operating pressure set at the air compressor is suitable for the application needs.
By checking the device’s maximum pressure requirement and setting the pressure higher than approx. 1 bar or try to reduce the pressure gradually (about 0.5 bar) and check whether the equipment can be used normally. Until the lowest pressure can be used. Another way to help save energy, in case some equipment has low pressure requirement, a pressure reducing device is installed on the compressed air pipe before entering that machine/equipment.
4. Adjusting the temperature of the air entering the air compressor
When the temperature is high, the air will be less dense. Therefore, it takes a lot of energy to extract the air to reach the desired volume. While the air is cold, the density is high, so it uses less energy to suck up the air. The relationship between the inlet air temperature and the mechanical work used in compressed air which is an adiabatic process.
5. Using a variable speed air compressor (VSD)
Variable speed air compressor has more efficient than conventional air compressors. It can achieve savings of up to 30 % or more. The principle of the VSD of the air compressor is controlled by the pressure in the system. If the pressure in the system drops below the set, the speed regulator increases the rpm of the air compressor motor. Conversely, the rotational speed of the air compressor is reduced when the pressure reaches a certain level.
Source (in Thai):
กรมพัฒนาพลังงานทดแทนและอนุรักษ์พลังงาน กระทรวงพลังงาน. (2555).
In คู่มือการตรวจวิเคราะห์การอนุรักษ์พลังงานสำหรับวิสาหกิจขนาดกลางและขนาดย่อม. หน้า 6-7 – 6-17
Available from: https://ienergyguru.com/2015/11/energyconservation-air-compressor [14/6/2564]
Translated by: Win Win Team
An air compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume. It is used throughout industry to provide instrument air; to power air tools, paint sprayers, and abrasive blast equipment; to phase shift refrigerants for air conditioning and refrigeration; to propel gas through pipelines; etc.