CompAir says audit can save 50% on compressed air
With the Carbon Tax looming, businesses are looking harder for energy savings. Compressor supplier, CompAir, says its compressed air audit, AirAudit, can unearth such savings.
A compressed air system is one of the largest consumers of energy in any business with energy costs accounting for around 80% of the lifetime costs of a compressor. However, compressed air also represents an opportunity within a business to generate energy savings and reduce the associated carbon footprint.
“The first step in reducing compressed air associated energy costs is to undergo a comprehensive audit,” explained Gilbert McLean, national key account manager of the AirAudit division at CompAir Australasia.
“AirAudit is a highly accurate, non-intrusive process which identifies areas of loss or inefficiencies within a compressed air system that meets the requirements of the Australian Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency Opportunity Act, in conjunction with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGERS) Act.
“AirAudit includes leak detection, demand and supply side flow analysis (end use), full measurement of power absorbed including power factor, actual flow rates and, where relevant, pressure and dew point.
“AirAudit is performed to the highest standard, quoting accuracies of less than 5% and delivering detailed independent reports and analysis of a compressed air system.
“This includes recommendations for: leak correction, leak tracking (data management for repeat surveys), targeting of maintenance upgrades, flow demand characterisation and optimisation, a compressed air distribution summary, a comprehensive list of compressed air solutions, a risk assessment and a cost savings summary. Additionally, a plan for ongoing energy cost reductions is provided.
“The AirAudit can identify savings which can be created on both the demand and supply side of a compressed air system. 10 to 20% energy savings can be found on the supply side by improving:
• Compressed air equipment: changes in shift patterns or production will change the demand for compressed air. It may be the case that upgrading the compressor to better meet these new demands will reduce the associated energy costs.
• Compressor technology: where appropriate, replacing a fixed speed compressor with a variable speed compressor will reduce energy costs. Variable speed technology matches output to exact requirements minimising off-load running.
• Control and monitoring: implementing an energy management system will ensure a compressed air system can be controlled and monitored on an on-going basis for optimised energy usage.
• Maintenance: following the recommended manufacturer’s maintenance schedule will ensure minimal wear and tear of consumable parts optimising system efficiency.
“Additionally, up to 50% energy savings can be achieved by following the recommendations from the AirAudit’s detailed demand side analysis which will identify areas of improvement in: artificial demand, system dynamics, compressed air leak detection, system design as well as monitoring and sub-monitoring.
“The cost of undergoing an AirAudit can be easily and quickly recovered through reduced system costs. Depending on your location and business type you may even be eligible for state or federal government funding to cover the cost of the AirAudit and the work to improve and optimise your compressed air system.
“If you are applying for funding under the Australian Federal Government’s Clean Technology Investment Program or the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program, an AirAudit will provide necessary support for your application to upgrade plant and equipment.
“By identifying improvements in a compressed air system through an AirAudit and acting on these, it is possible to reduce power consumption and thereby reduce your associated energy costs. In turn you will also reduce compressed air system load as well as wear and tear which will extend the life of the compressed air system and deliver a greater return on your investment.”