In my blog last week, “A Digital Flowmeter can help to improve your monthly electric bill”, I wrote about a company that was being charged for compressed air that was being used in the facility. To give you the short version, a Digital Flowmeter determined that the power supply company was not miscalculating the amount of compressed air usage, but the facility had compressed air leaks.
Now that he found the issue, he focused on the next step; to find and fix the leaks in his compressed air system. Being that EXAIR already helped him in measuring the air flow, he wondered if we could also help him to find the leaks. And we can. I recommended the model 9061 Ultrasonic Leak Detector.
Whenever a leak occurs, it will generate an ultrasonic noise. These noises have a range of frequencies from audible to inaudible. The frequencies in the range of 20 Khz to 100 Khz are above human hearing. The Ultrasonic Leak Detector can pick up these high frequencies, and make the inaudible leaks, audible. The model 9061 has three sensitivity ranges and LED display; so, you can find very small leaks at a great distance away. This unit comes with two attachments. The parabola attachment can locate leaks up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) away. This was great for locating leaks in pipes that ran in the ceiling. Once you find an area with a leak, the tube attachment could define the exact location. When he started using it, he was amazed with the performance. The Ultrasonic Leak Detector found 44 leaks in his facility. He tagged all the locations for the maintenance crew to fix.
As an example for how much compressed air costs, a 1/16” diameter leak in a compressed air line will lose roughly 4 SCFM of air at 100 psig. An air compressor needs 1 horsepower of energy to make roughly 4 SCFM of compressed air. As you can see, it take a lot of energy to supply a small leak. If we go one step further to equate a cost to this leak, it costs roughly $0.25/1000 SCF (SCF is Standard Cubic Foot). Being that this company was operating 5 days per week at 24 hours, this one small hole in a compressed air line would cost him $43.20/month. With 44 leaks throughout his plant, you can see how this could add up to be a large amount of money at the end of each month.
The EXAIR Optimization line uses different devices to help you to get the most out of your compressed air system. With this customer, he was “throwing” money away each month. With the Ultrasonic Leak Detector, he could now put that excess money back into the company’s “pocket” for future use.