Leaks and Why They Matter

Leaks can be discussed quite frequently around industrial environments. These can be refrigerant leaks, water leaks, gas leaks, even information leaks. All of these leaks have one thing in common, they all cost the company money in the end. I often think about several classic cartoons when I hear about leaks being fixed as they are found. They can become a little overwhelming like the “Squirrel” from the movie Ice Age 2.

1 – Ice Age 2 – Scrat – Mission Impossible

When it comes down to it, not many leaks create good results, that is why I want to take a second and educate on the costs your facility may be seeing from compressed air leaks. The leaks within an industrial environment can often account for up to 30% of the total compressed air generated.

So let’s take a look at that, the cost of compressed air is derived from the kWh cost the facility pays to the utility company. Here in the Midwest the average cost is around $0.08 / kWh. The equation to convert this to cost per cubic foot of compressed air is shown below. This formula assumes that the compressor generates four standard cubic feet of compressed air per horsepower of compressor. Again this is an industry acceptable assumption.

The size of a leak will determine how much compressed air is wasted, most of these leaks are not even to the audible range for the human ear which leads them to be undetected for long periods of time. A leak that is equivalent to a 1/16″ diameter orifice can result in an annual loss of more than $836.50 USD. While the scale of this number when compared to the annual revenue of a company may be small, the fact remains that this single leak would more than likely not be the only one. This isn’t the only way leaks will cost money though.

Leaks can also generate false demand which can result in pressure drops on a system. When the pressure on a production line drops this could result in unscheduled shutdowns. Often, when a pressure drop is observed the quick answer is to increase the header pressure which causes even more energy to be utilized and even more compressed air will be pushed out of these leaks. That increase in system pressure comes at a price as well. When increasing a system pressure by 2 psi the compressor will consume an additional percent of total input power. This again will hit the bottom line and result in lower efficiency of operation for the facility.

If you hear that distinct hiss of compressed air leaks when you are walking through your facility, or even if you don’t hear the his and you know that a leak detection action plan is not being practiced and want to find out the best ways to get one in place, contact us. We are always willing to help you determine how to lower the leaks in your facility as well as reduce the system pressure required to keep your lines up and running by implementing engineered solutions at the point of use.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

1 – Ice Age 2 – Mission Impossible Scrat – retrieve from YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-HniegbnFs

 

Monitoring Is Apparently The New Thing To Do

Over the past month, I have been loosely watching the events revolving around a former government contractor, Edward Snowden.   The contractor leaked classified information about how the NSA monitors the US citizens.   This has of course brought on a large amount of news coverage and lots of questions from the US citizens to the government.  Others have been able to turn it into a laughing matter like Jimmy Kimmel did on his show.   Below is the commercial Jimmy did for the NSA on his show.

So with all the talk about how every little thing you do is monitored, and I am probably going to end up on several lists for keywords in this blog, why not begin your own monitoring campaign.

dataloggerPRce_559widesrd

EXAIR offers a full line of monitoring devices for your compressed air system, after all it’s the first step in the 6 Steps To Compressed Air Optimization.  The best part of our offering is that you can not only use the EXAIR Digital Flowmeter to monitor your compressed air system, when combined with the Summing remote display and/or the USB Data Logger, you can also collect the data from the meter.

The complete setup will allow you to easily see, and calculate, your cost savings before and after you implement an Intelligent Compressed Air product.

If you have any questions on how EXAIR can help you monitor your compressed air system, give us a call, chat, fax or e-mail.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF