The first step to optimizing compressed air systems within an industrial facility is to get a known baseline. To do so, utilizing a digital flowmeter is an ideal solution that will easily install onto a hard pipe that will give live readouts of the compressed air usage for the line it is installed on. There is also an additional feature that we offer on the Digital Flowmeters that can help further the understanding of the compressed air demands within a facility.
The Pressure Sensing Digital Flowmeters are available from 2″ Sched. 40 Iron Pipe up to 8″ Sched. 40 Iron Pipe. As well as 2″ to 4″ Copper pipe. These will read out and with the additional Data Logger or Wireless Capability options record the information. When coupled with the wireless capability an alarm can be set for pressure drops that give live updates on the system as well as permits data review to see trends throughout the day of the system.
Generating a pressure and consumption profile of a system can help to pinpoint energy wasters such as timer-based drains that are dumping every hour versus level based drains that only open when needed. A scenario similar to this was the cause of an entire production line shut down nearly every day of the week for a local facility until they installed flowmeters and were able to narrow the demand location down to a filter baghouse with a faulty control for the cleaning cycle.
If you would like to discuss the best digital flowmeter for your system and to better understand the benefits of pressure sensing, please contact us.
EXAIR’s Digital Flow Meter offers an easy way to measure, monitor and record compressed air consumption. The Digital display shows the current amount of compressed air flow, allowing for tracking to identify costly leaks and/or inefficient air users.
How exactly does the Digital Flow Meter work? The unit falls under the category of Thermal Mass or Thermal Dispersion type flow meters. Below shows the backside of a unit.
Thermal mass flow meters have the advantage of using a simple method of measuring flow without causing a significant pressure drop. The EXAIR units have (2) probes that are inserted through the pipe wall and into the air flow. Each of the probes has a resistance temperature detector (RTD.) One of the probes measures the temperature of the air flow. The other probe is heated to maintain a preset temperature difference from the temperature measured by the first probe. The faster the air flow, the more heat that is required to keep the second probe at the prescribed temperature. From Heat Transfer principles, the heat energy input required to maintain the preset temperature is based on the mass velocity of the air. Using basic physical properties for compressed air, the volumetric rate can be determined (SCFM), and displayed.
It is important to note that the compressed air should be filtered to remove oils, and dried to remove water, as these liquids have different physical properties from air, and will cause erroneous readings.
If you have any questions about the Digital Flow Meter or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Being an Application Engineer at EXAIR you tend to do a good amount of return on investment (ROI) calculations. This is mainly to tell customers just how fast installing an EXAIR product on their system is going to pay its purchase price back and start saving them money.
In order to do these calculations there are several variables we must know. The list is below.
Current Product Consumption (If this is an unknown, we will test it for free!)
Cost of Compressed Air / 1,000 SCF (This is the most common unknown.)
With these four variables we can calculate the amount of air and the amount of money the EXAIR product will save over an existing non-engineered blowoff. Let me address the two variables which have to come from you, the customer.
Current Product Consumption – If this value is not known please don’t guess at it. We offer a free service which we refer to as our Efficiency Lab where you send us in your existing blowoff device and we will test it for force flow and noise level. If you don’t know what pressure you are operating the piece at we will help you find out how to get that and then we will test our products at the same pressures. This way you get a true apple to apples comparison. Then, once we are done testing, you will get a recommendation from us in a formal report as to what EXAIR product will best replace your existing product. Then we will pay for return shipping of your blowoff device back to you. So, if you don’t know how much air you are currently using then give us a call. We will figure it out for you.
Cost of Compressed Air/ 1,000 SCF – This is more often than not, the unknown variable in the equation. The good news is there is a general standard assumption of twenty-five cents per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air. This works out to be around 8 cents per kW/hr. So even if you don’t know what you pay to compress the air, if you know what you are paying per kilowatt hour for your energy then we can calculate within reason what it costs for you to generate your compressed air. For reference, 8 cents per kilowatt-hour falls between the average US cost per kilowatt hour for commercial end-users (10.7/kWh) and industrial end-users (6.9/kWh).*
The best part of all is…EXAIR has a calculator available right on our website which provides air and dollar savings per minute, hour day and year as well as a payback in days for the EXAIR product purchase. On top of that, any step along the way that you aren’t sure of, we will help you out for free, even testing your product!
In case you would like to see the math, the formula used is below.