Step 1: Understanding The Demand On Your Compressor

The Six Steps To Optimizing Your Compressed air System are all based from the demand side of your compressed air system.   These all lead to saving money by reducing the energy demanded from your supply side of the system. The first step in understanding your demand side is to figure out how much compressed air is currently asked for and why are you asking the supply side for that air. This will allow you to gather information on where the savings are possible in order to make educated adjustments within your compressed air system.

So you would first want to start documenting your demand with a Usage Chart.   You will want to start a spreadsheet that has each point of compressed air use and quantify the volumetric flow, as well as operating pressure of the compressed air products in your system.  You will want to start at your compressor and follow the compressed air lines in to each drop that has a point of use, whether it is a Safety Air Gun being used by an operator, or a Super Ion Air Knife that is automated inside of the machine.  An example of the Usage Chart is below

Demand Chart

One note to add is that you can break the demand column into several different columns in case you have a variable demand location, such as a Non-Hazardous Purge Cabinet Cooler System where there is always a slight demand, but then there is a short burst peak demand when the enclosure needs to be cooled.

Once you have all of the point of use devices mapped out and charted on your Usage Chart, you can then begin to look at the areas you have for improvement.  For example, if you only have one location that needs a 5 psig higher pressure than everything else in the plant, that would be an ideal location to look at why you need the higher pressure.   If you can reduce your system pressure by 5 psig then you will save on average, 2.5% of the electricity used to drive your compressor.

If you see that you have a few areas with similar point of use devices but the usage is higher, then that is a prime location to start inspecting for leaks, a tool like the Ultrasonic Leak Detector makes this part easier than using soapy water to spray down each joint in a pipe.   On the same note, if you are able to reduce your system pressure by 5 psig then that is also going to reduce the amount of leakage throughout the system.

In order to determine what the usage of each point of use device can also easily be viewed and even recorded using one of our Digital Flowmeters w/ Summing Remote Display and Data Logger.   This device is offered in a range of sizes 1/2″ to 6″ iron pipe or copper pipe.

If you want to take the first step in optimizing your compressed air system and ensure that you are saving as much air as possible while compressing the least amount demanded by your system then feel free to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer

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