Business Benefits From Compressed Air Efficiency

Use of compressed air, or “the fourth utility” as it’s called, is widespread in many industries.  How you use it in your business is important, for a couple of key considerations:

Monetary cost

Compressed air isn’t free.  Heck, it isn’t even cheap.  According to a Tip Sheet on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website, some companies estimate the cost of generation at $0.18 – $0.30 per 1,000 cubic feet of air.  A typical industrial air compressor will make 4-5 Standard Cubic Feet per Minute per horsepower.  Let’s be generous and assume that our 100HP compressor puts out 500 SCFM and is fully loaded 85% of the time over two shifts per day, five days a week:

500 SCFM X $0.18/1,000 SCF X 60 min/hr X 16 hr/day X 5 days/week X 52 weeks/year =

$22,464.00 estimated annual compressed air cost

If you want to go jot down some numbers from your compressor’s nameplate and your last electric bill, you can accurately calculate your actual cost.  Here’s the formula:

Taking our same 100HP compressor (105 bhp required,) fully loaded 85% of the time, and assuming the motor’s good (95% efficient):

(105 bhp X 0.746 X 4,160 hours X $0.08/kWh X 0.85 X 1.0)÷ 0.95 =

$23,324.20 actual annual compressed air cost

So, our estimate was within 4% of our actual…but the point is, $22,000 to $23,000 is a significant amount of money, which deserves to be spent as wisely as possible, and that means using your compressed air efficiently.  Engineered solutions like EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products can be a major part of this – look through our Case Studies; implementing our products have saved companies as much as 60% on their compressed air costs.

Health & Safety

Injuries and illnesses can be big expenses for business as well. Inefficient use of compressed air can be downright unsafe.  Open ended blow offs present serious hazards, if dead-ended…the pressurized (energized) flow can break the skin and cause a deadly air embolism.  Even some air nozzles that can’t be dead ended (see examples of cross-drilled nozzles on right) cause a different safety hazard, hearing loss due to noise exposure.  This is another case where EXAIR can help.  Not only are our Intelligent Compressed Air Products fully OSHA compliant in regard to dead end pressure, their efficient design also makes them much quieter than other devices.

Efficient use of compressed air can make a big difference in the workplace – not only to your financial bottom line, but to everyone’s safety, health, and livelihood.  If you’d like to find out more about how EXAIR can help, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Holiday Aftermath Brings Resolution

Now that the holidays are over and we have come down from our sugar highs, it’s time to get serious about eating right and shedding those extra pounds gained. I have never been good about dieting because I love to eat and hate to exercise. This year I have extra resolve, the doctor said that if I do not get my sugar levels in check I will need to go on medication. I am currently on a carb restricted diet to keep my levels in check.

When was the last time you did an audit of your compressed air system? Is it time to put your air usage on a diet? It is much simpler than you may think to restrict compressed air consumption which helps keep your energy levels in check. It can be as easy as retrofitting open tube or pipe with an engineered air nozzle or replacing a pipe with a series of drilled holes along its length with a Super Air Knife. Sometimes it is hard to convince operators that they do not need open air lines at system pressures to get the job done. The problem is more than likely they have not been offered an effective alternative. Their objective is to do their job. If you can offer them something that uses less compressed air and still gets the job done, they will most assuredly emnozzlebrace it.

EXAIR’s core business is the conservation of compressed air. The unique design of their products draws in surrounding ambient air providing a greater volume of air on the target than the volume of compressed air used. Amplification can be a much as 40 times more! If you are ready to go on an “compressed air diet” and improve your energy consumption’s overall health, call 1-800-903-9247 and ask to speak with one of our application engineers.

Joe Panfalone Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax   (513) 671-3363

Mudathlon, Battlestar Galactica, Transformers…

I’ve written a few blog posts about personal health and gave reference to my hobby of running before as well.  Usually I get a light stretch in and try to eat something dense before a run, but I have no particular “ritual”.

In a few weeks I’ll be competing on a team of 30 or so friends in the Cincinnati Mudathlon.  The Mudathlon is a short 5k run with obstacles and various exercises every 1/10th of a mile.  It should be a good time, and although I run pretty regularly I thought I’d step it up a notch as the race approaches.

Something new that I’m doing is a thorough preparation.  Not just in the short time before I run or workout, but in the entire day beforehand.  I’ve been increasing my caloric intake with foods that have good carbs and starches and I’ve been hydrating as well.  This approach, the thorough preparation, has led to longer runs, less fatigue, and greater performance.  I’m running longer and faster with what feels like less effort.

As I worked through an application I realized that this approach is almost identical to how I determine proper product for an end user.  I have a lot of discussions about compressed air plumbing (see my previous blog about compressed air plumbing mistakes here) and realized that the needs I have when exerting energy (or “doing work” as many of our engineers like to call it) during a run are almost identical to the compressed air needs of an application.

For example:  If my body is low on energy, my output will decrease.  If a compressed air application is underpowered, its output will decrease.  If I’m dehydrated, blood flow is constricted and performance degrades.  If compressed air plumbing is restricted, performance will degrade.

Noticing these similarities I entertained the idea of being a machine (Battlestar Galactica , anyone??) and decided that if I was to ever be a machine I want to be an Autobot.  Possible?  Maybe..  Then again, maybe I’ve been watching too many episodes of Transformers.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer