6 Simple Steps to Improve Compressed Air Efficiency

EXAIR knows every company, and many individuals, would like to reduce energy costs.  There seems to be a constant drumming of…save energy, be green, get sustainable, reduce your footprint, and so on.  I’ll bet a constant drumming is just what we need in order to keep the energy savings subject top-of-mind, other wise we are all so busy and capable of getting distracted by the other hundred things we need to get accomplished today – right?  Here are some simple steps you can take to save energy within your compressed air system, and a bit of assistance to keep the drumming steadfast.

1. Measure the air consumption to find sources that use a lot of compressed air.

  • Knowing where you stand with your compressed air demand is important to be able to quantify the savings once you begin to implement a compressed air optimization program. Placing a value upon your compressed air consumption will also allow you to place a value on its costs and the savings you will reap once you start to reduce your consumption. (EXAIR’s Digital Flow Meter)

2. Find and fix the leaks in your compressed air system.

  • Not fixing your compressed air system leaks can cause your system pressure to fluctuate and affect your equipment negatively. It may cause you to run a larger compressor than necessary for your compressed air needs and raise your total costs. Or it could cause your cycle and run times to increase which leads to increased maintenance to the entire system. (EXAIR’s Ultrasonic Leak Detector)

3. Upgrade your blow off, cooling and drying operations using engineered compressed air products.

  • Your ordinary nozzle with a through hole and a cross drilled hole can be an easy choice based upon price, but if you do not consider the operating cost you do not really know how much it is costing you. An Engineered Air Nozzle will pay for itself and lower operating costs quickly. Engineered Air Nozzles are the future of compressed air efficiency and are made to replace ordinary nozzles, homemade nozzles and open line blow offs.Engineered Nozzles reduce air consumption and noise levels; ordinary nozzles cannot compete. Engineered Nozzles maintain safety features and can qualify for an energy savings rebate from a local utility; ordinary nozzles fall short. Open blow off or homemade blow off applications typically violate OSHA safety standards; Engineered Nozzles do not.  (EXAIR’s Air Nozzles)

4. Turn off the compressed air when it is not in use.

  • A simple manual ball valve and a responsible operator can provide savings at every opportunity to shut down the air flow. But an automated solution is a no-brainer and can provide significant savings. Automated solutions add solenoid valves and run them from your machine controls. If the machine is off, or the conveyor has stopped – close the solenoid valve and save the air.  And blow off applications can benefit from any space in between parts by turning the air off during the gaps with the aid of a sensor and solenoid. (EXAIR’s automated  Electronic Flow Control)

5. Use intermediate storage of compressed air near the point of use.

  • Also known as secondary receivers, intermediate air storage is especially effective when a system has shifting demands or large volume use in a specific area. Intermediate storage is the buffer between a large demand event and the output of your compressor. The buffer created by intermediate storage (secondary receiver) prevents pressure fluctuations which may impact other end use operations and affect your end product quality. (EXAIR’s Receiver Tanks)

6. Control the air pressure at the point of use to minimize air consumption.

  • This is a very simple and easy process, all it requires is a pressure regulator. Installing a pressure regulator at all of your point of use applications will allow you to lower the pressure of these applications to the lowest pressure possible for success. Lowering the pressure of the application also lowers the air consumption. And it naturally follows that lower air consumption equals energy savings. (EXAIR’s Pressure Regulators)

If you have any questions about implementation of these steps or are considering an application you would like to discuss, please contact EXAIR.

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer

Leave a Reply