So, How Much Does Your Compressed Air Cost you?

Recently, I had a conversation with my German colleague regarding the cost of compressed air. He was scrutinizing what we say when we say that if you don’t know your cost, you can estimate using a value of $ .25 / 1000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air. When you crunch the numbers down to this kind of value, it becomes very easy to see what your new compressed air based solution might cost you or perhaps save you in terms of compressed air savings over the present method.  His opinion was that the rate that we use was a very inexpensive one and so he was looking for some verification.

The first thing I did was to go to trusty old Google and look up the average electricity cost for our state (Ohio) over the past year for a typical industrial electric consumer. The rate I found was $ .0687 / kWh. (Kilowatt hour)

If you take a 15 kW air compressor, this is equal to our rating of 20 HP (15,000 / 746 = 20.1 HP). 15 kW * $ .0687/ kWh = $ 1.03/ hour to operate a 15 kW (20 HP) compressor.

A 20 HP compressor of industrial grade will produce 80 SCFM. It takes 12.5 minutes for an 80 SCFM compressor to produce 1000 SCF of air.

12.5 minutes / 60 minutes = .208 hours to produce 1000 standard cubic feet of air.   .208 hours * $ 1.03 / hour = $ .2142 (21.4 cents) to produce 1000 Standard Cubic Feet
of air.

And so, in showing him my math, I was able to convince my friend that using $ .25 / 1000 SCF is actually a liberal figure in our area in some cases a conservative estimate. Of course our energy prices don’t compare to those in Germany / Europe. So, for him to make this kind of example to his customers would be an even more effective discussion for using our air saving Nozzles, Air Knives, Air Amplifiers and also our Optimization products such as the EFC.

Neal Raker,
Application Engineer

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