If you’d like to know how efficient (or not,) quiet (or not,) and effective (or not) your current compressed air devices are, the EXAIR Efficiency Lab can help. For more details, we hope you’ll enjoy this short video.
Here on the EXAIR blog we discuss pressure drops, correct plumbing, pipe sizing, and friction losses within your piping system from time to time. We will generally even give recommendations on what size piping to use. These are the variables that you will want to consider when selecting a piping size that will suit your need and give the ability to expand if needed.
The variables to know for a new piping run are as follows.
Flow Rate (SCFM) of demand side (products needing the supplied compressed air)
System Pressure (psig) – Safe operating pressure that will account for pressure drops.
Minimum Operating Pressure Allowed (psig) – Lowest pressure permitted by any demand side point of use product.
Total Length of Piping System (feet)
Piping Cost ($)
Installation Cost ($)
Operational Hours ( hr.)
Electical Costs ($/kwh)
Project Life (years) – Is there a planned expansion?
An equation can be used to calculate the diameter of pipe required for a known flow rate and allowable pressure drop. The equation is shown below.
A = (144 x Q x Pa) / (V x 60 x (Pd + Pa)
A = Cross-Sectional are of the pipe bore. (sq. in.).
Q = Flow rate (cubic ft. / min of free air)
Pa = Prevailing atmospheric absolute pressure (psia)
Pd = Compressor discharge gauge pressure (psig)
V = Design pipe velocity ( ft/sec)
If all of these variables are not known, there are also reference charts which will eliminate the variables needed to total flow rate required for the system, as well as the total length of the piping. The chart shown below was taken from EXAIR’s Knowledge Base.
Once the piping size is selected to meet the needs of the system the future potential of expansion should be taken into account and anticipated for. If no expansion is planned, simply take your length of pipe and start looking at your cost per foot and installation costs. If expansions are planned and known, consider supplying the equipment now and accounting for it if the additional capital expenditure is acceptable at this point.
The benefits to having properly sized compressed air lines for the entire facility and for the long term expansion goals makes life easier. When production is increased, or when new machinery is added there is not a need to re-engineer the entire system in order to get enough capacity to that last machine. If the main compressed air system is undersized then optimal performance for the facility will never be achieved. By not taking the above variables into consideration or just using what is cheapest is simply setting the system up for failure and inefficiencies. All of these considerations lead to an optimized compressed air system which leads to a sustainable utility.
It has been a long cold winter this year and I just got my utility bill in the mail. I almost fainted. Sad to say, I’m told that I should expect rising utility costs due to the increased cost of producing electricity.
Rising utility costs has a trickle down effect and no one is exempt. Manufacturers, retailers, farmers, food service, etc. all share the same duress. As the cost to do business increases, prices go up. It’s almost like I’m taking the hit twice.
A recent survey by the U.S. Department of Energy showed that for a typical industrial facility, approximately 10% of the electricity consumed is for generating compressed air. For some facilities, compressed air generation may account for 30% or more of the electricity consumed. Compressed air is an on-site generated utility. Very often, the cost of generation is not known; however, some companies use a value of 18-30 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of air.(ref. DOE)
As the world goes eco-friendly it’s not clear how much environmental good will come from all the green products consumers are buying. Many companies peddle new or improved green products through their marketing campaigns, but it pays to look beyond the product pitches and into how the company behaves.
It’s refreshing to work for a company that is really walking the talk. EXAIR’s sustainability plan has real and quantifiable achievements.
Our variable speed drive air compressor reduced our electrical consumption by over 4,000 kWh in the past year compared to a conventional air compressor
Through a leak detection and mitigation program, one million cubic foot of compressed air per yer was saved
Migrating our customers to electronic delivery of invoices reduced traditional postal service mailed copies by over 50% and a 67% reduction in printed paper pages
Most shipments use recycled Kraft paper with a perfect “green score ” of 360
Fresh water consumption was reduced through a coolant management program that extends usable life of water-soluble coolant from six weeks to six months.
Natural gas consumption was reduced by installing programmable thermostats wherever possible to match heating and cooling cycle with facility usage patterns
Solid waste/trash was reduced by 88% through and expanded recycling program
All metals, wood, waste water, cans, and plastics are 100% recycled
Do you want to improve your sustainability scorecard by reducing compressed air consumption? Give our application engineers a call and they will be happy to assist you. They can be reached at 1-800-903-9247