How much does your compressed air cost? If you don’t know, there are some handy tools, like this one, that will help you calculate it precisely. For estimating purposes, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that compressed air costs about $0.25 per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of mass to generate. Again, this is an estimate based on different electric power consumption costs from around the country, varying efficiencies of different types & sizes of air compressors, etc., so, as the automobile folks say, “your mileage may vary.”
Regardless of whether you calculate it exactly or just estimate it, it’s going to come as no surprise that it isn’t cheap. That’s why efficient use HAS to be taken seriously. Luckily, there are steps you can take (six, specifically, see below,) that can help.
I recently had the pleasure of helping a caller who was using the male ends of pneumatic quick connect fittings to blow off steel tubes:
They were operating these, for the most part, 24/7, as their production was continuous, although there were actually spaces between product at times. They were using over 74 SCFM…that’s 750,000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air PER WEEK, or over 39 MILLION SCF per year…over $9,700.00* in generation cost. After a brief discussion, they ordered & installed two Model 1101 Super Air Nozzles, which threaded right in to their existing fittings:
Not only were the Super Air Nozzles markedly quieter (sound level went from 90dBA to 72dBA,) air consumption was reduced to just 20.90 SCFM…a 72% reduction, which translates to an annual cost savings of over $7,000.00*. But wait…there’s more.
See, that was just “step 3” – they also installed a solenoid valve in the supply line, actuated from their process control. This turns off the compressed air in between cycles, roughly estimated at about half the time. This gets them additional savings of almost $1,400.00* per year. But wait (again)…there’s STILL more.
This is one of five lines that were (mis)using the pneumatic fittings. With the dramatic improvements of the first line, they ordered Super Air Nozzles for the remaining four. So, to recap…an investment of $440.00 (2019 List Price for the Model 1101 is $44.00,) plus their solenoid valves, they’re saving almost $42,000.00* per year in compressed air generation costs.
*using the DoE thumbrule of $0.25/1,000 SCF referenced in the first paragraph.
Engineered compressed air products like the Super Air Nozzles are a clear winner all day, every day, over any open-end type device. If you’d like to find out how much EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products can save you, give me a call.