Energy Savings Through Air Audits

February 4, 2021 11:48 am Published by

With the cost of the energy to run your system increasing all the time, and with Government policy now aiming towards net carbon zero by 2050, any cost and energy savings benefits both the business bottom line and corporate social responsibility.

What does an air audit cover? It will provide an accurate account of your plant’s compressed air demand over a given time frame, identifying energy costs and potential savings. Data compiled over many years has shown that leaks typically account for 20 percent of a compressed air system’s demand. Dirty air not only means frequent and costly filter changes, but it also threatens production quality and continuity, leading to interruptions, or stoppages. Therefore, the assessment of any water or oil in the compressed air is an important aspect of the audit. Assessing current service schedules and maintenance programmes for effectiveness in supporting the efficiency and longevity of your equipment, including compressors, filters, dryers, and ancillaries is a further area covered by the audit. Lastly, a monitoring and control programme can be implemented. This sets out recommendations for long-term monitoring and control to maintain optimum efficiency.

Considering the figure for potential wastage due to leaks alone can have a considerable effect when examining energy costs alone. When the reduced working life that could be expected from a compressor or other components the savings from just controlling leaks mount up quickly. To achieve the lowest operating cost for the compressed air system and a fast return on any investment an energy audit is an essential first step.

When a Harrier engineer visits your site to carry out an air audit, they will focus on inefficiencies in the system in two main areas. On the supply side 10 – 20% savings can be commonly found by identifying areas of improvement in the equipment and its installation. Maintenance issues, particularly at the present time where plant may have been unused for a while, will also have a significant impact. Simply having an accurate, comprehensive monitoring and control system in place will reduce maintenance issues by alerting you early to problems enabling early remedial action to be taken. On the demand side the potential savings in wasted energy are even higher. Up to 20 to 30% can be achieved by focusing on leak detection once again, but also through artificial demand. This is the extra pressurised air in the system that is not being used or is being generated even though the attached components or end applications are not being used.  System design and dynamics can also affect efficiency and as part of an air audit improvements can be proposed.

An air audit can have an immediate impact on improving manufacturing productivity and continuity. Longer term capital spending and cost savings will translate straight to the business bottom line as well as reducing your carbon footprint. Get in touch with Harrier Pneumatics to book an air audit for your plant.

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This post was written by Harrier Pneumatics