Compressed air optimization is an ongoing process. It may seem like a daunting task to get going with your compressed air optimization program.
If you are not sure where to begin, start with the "low hanging fruit". This includes fixing air leaks, lowering system pressures, and optimizing control settings. Once you see results (and electricity savings) with these measures, let others know. Management and fellow employees will want to hear about your success.
With initial results, you will be in a better position to convince management to invest capital dollars, to invest in more effective and efficient compressors, to update the distribution system, and to commit resources towards ongoing leak management. Remember that compressed air is a system - if you change a component or setting, it will have an impact elsewhere. The trick is to keep on rebalancing the system to continuously improve the system.
Always factor in the lifetime operating cost when designing or purchasing compressed air system parts. Work with your purchasing department to procure the most energy efficient components, even if these cost more initially. Get others involved at your facility. Let them know that compressed air is not free. Have workers report air leaks. Give maintenance sufficient resources to repair air leaks. Make it a team effort.
Contact your local utility for additional advice and tips for energy efficiency and for help with metering your system.
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