There are many ways that commercial businesses spend money on energy but in many cases, up to 10% of the energy can be directly attributed to the use of compressed air. This is a significant expenditure, and it is one that should be looked at carefully to determine if there are any ways to reduce the energy usage to save money and increase profitability.
Although there certainly is a significant investment in purchasing large air compressors for your commercial place of business, the vast majority of the cost of using compressors is going to be seen in electrical power. Reducing the amount that you are spending on energy for compressors can be done in any number of different ways. Some important factors to consider are turning the compressors off when they are not needed, reducing the pressure, ensuring that they are not used for inappropriate uses and properly maintaining the compressors.
One other factor that should not be overlooked is the possibility for Leaks. This is a common problem in many facilities, especially if they are not maintained properly and on a routine basis. It is not out of the question to have about 20% of your total energy expenditure for compressed air directly related to these leaks.
The primary reason you should look for Air Leaks would be the financial savings that are available. In even small air leaks of 1/16” in size, it is not out of the question to spend hundreds of dollars extra every year in operating costs. The money you’re spending continues to rise significantly, as the size of the leak increases as well.
Other benefits of looking for an air leak and fixing it include the way that the tools that use compressed air operate. Air tools are going to work less efficiently, and it can impact productivity. Additionally, the equipment may need to cycle more frequently, and that can shorten the lifespan of any tool that is attached to the equipment, including the compressor as well.
Leaks can occur in any part of the system, but they are more common in areas such as the pressure regulators, pipe joints, couplings, fittings, hoses, shut off valves and open condensate traps.
Air leaks are impossible to see, so a visual inspection of the equipment is not going to provide an estimate of the severity of the problem. Air leaks will make a sound, however, and it is possible to detect even the smallest of leaks through the use of an ultrasonic air leak detector. Since the air is moving from high pressure to low pressure, it creates a turbulent flow that can be picked up and identified by the ultrasonic detector. The operator simply scans the area and then follows the sound to pinpoint the problem.
If you would like to reduce air leaks at your facility, we can help. We provide ultrasonic air leak detection and then make suggestions as to how the problems can be repaired. If you would like to see what the result of our air leak survey looks like, click here to view a PDF.
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