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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Compressed Air Systems

Compressed Air Systems

Go with the Flow: How Flow Meters Can Help Improve Plant Efficiency

Compressed Air Best Practices, Mar. 2015, by Scott A. Williams.

"Plug an electrical device into an outlet. Does it work? Great! For some people that’s all that matters. When it comes to compressed air, many manufacturing plants operate the same way. As long as there is enough air, that’s all that matters. But what if cost control also matters to your company? Smart compressed air users may already know how much air they’re producing, but they also want to know how much air they’re using—and whether they’re using it productively. To find out, they’re taking accurate, real-time measurements using flow meters."

Foundry Air Compressors Out of Control

Compressed Air Best Practices, Dec. 2014, by Ron Marshall for the Compressed Air Challenge.

"Quite a number of worst-case compressed air scenarios have been encountered over the years but none may compare to the conditions that existed in a metal foundry somewhere in North America. For reasons you are about to discover, we will not reveal the name of this factory or its location, in order to protect the innocent from embarrassment."

Compressed Air Supply at a Metal Machining Plant

Compressed Air Best Practices, Nov. 2014, by Don van Ormer.

"This metal fabrication and machining facility produces high-quality precision-built products. Over the years, the plant has grown and there have been several expansions to the current location. The company currently spends $227,043 annually on energy to operate the compressed air system....The set of projects recommended, as a result of the system assessment, could reduce these energy costs by $89,092 or 39%."

Nestlé Beats the Heat: Innovative Air-to-Water Heat Exchanger Recovers Heat from Air-Cooled Compressors

Compressed Air Best Practices, Oct. 2014.

"When the topic of discussion is making ice cream, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t heat, but at Nestlé’s Ice Cream factory in Tulare, California, heat is recovered from air-cooled air compressors to heat process water."

Compressed Air Challenge: Maintaining Peak Compressed Air Efficiency

Maintenance Technology, Sept. 2014, by Ron Marshall.

"A well-maintained [compressed air] system will provide an uninterrupted supply of cool, clean and dry compressed air at a stable and appropriate pressure in the most efficient manner possible. Poorly maintained systems have frequent system shutdowns, heat or moisture problems, exhibit system pressures that fluctuate wildly at levels that are too high to produce efficiently, and typically waste air due to leakage. are several key maintenance-related points to consider for trouble-free compressed air system operation."

Evaluating Air Compressor Cooling Systems

Compressed Air Best Practices, Aug. 2014, by Nitin G. Shanbhag.

"As the population continues to grow in the United States, industrial water use will need to continue to fall to help offset the increases in public-supply water use. Water-cooled compressed air systems provide an opportunity for sustainability managers to reduce associated cooling water consumption and costs. If switching to air-cooled air compressors is not possible, understanding the costs and the alternative types of liquid cooling systems is important."

Compressed Air System Simulation Software

Compressed Air Best Practices, July 2014, by Jan Hoetzel.

"Over the years and many compressed air audits later, one thing has become clear: continuous monitoring is a key factor for efficient compressed air systems. Similarly, the only constant in a compressed air system is change. When new air applications are added, a line is down, air leaks grow or if maintenance is done to repair leaks in the system, the whole system is affected and responds accordingly. Due to the nature of compressed air systems, improvements may be quickly lost shortly after implementation and go unnoticed. System monitoring allows operators and facilities maintenance to see real time effects of changes to the system and respond with appropriate adjustments when necessary."

ASME EA-4-2010 - Energy Assessment for Compressed Air Systems. What’s it all about?

Compressed Air Best Practices, June 2014, by Joe Ghislain.

"The ASME EA-4 standard takes the same system approach that is taught in the Compressed Air Challenge® Fundamentals and Advanced Compressed Air System Management courses and provides a prescriptive but scalable process that can be tailored to each facility. Along with system definition, it sets requirements for organizing and conducting the assessment, analyzing the data, and reporting and documenting of the findings."

Energy-Efficient Compressed Air Piping Systems

Compressed Air Best Practices, May 2014, by Paul Johnson.

"A properly designed and maintained compressed air system that is energy efficient could save the user thousands of dollars each year. It will also minimize the risk of lost production by increasing the reliability of supply and improve the strength and safety aspect of operating a pressurized system. Every dollar saved on energy goes straight to the bottom line and is a very effective way to increase profits."

Four Action Items Save Money and Energy at a Refinery

Compressed Air Best Practices, May 2014, by Hank Van Ormer.

"This case study shows just how a large facility, which grows over time, is the right situation for a compressed air system assessment. Most optimization opportunities are present and the potential for quick wins and very attractive project ROI’s is very high. Piping systems, upgrading air compressors and air dryers, leak surveys, end uses, are all areas which were improved in the compressed air system at this refinery."
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