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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


Vacuum System Fundamentals for “Compressed Air People”

Blower & Vacuum Best Practices, April 2017, by Tim Dugan.
http://www.blowervacuumbestpractices.com/technology/rough-vac/vacuum-system-fundamentals-compressed-air-people

"If you want to understand vacuum systems, you have to get out of the ruts, and slog through the mud and bounce over the rocks a bit.  If you’re a “compressed air person”, think outside the box for a few pages with me.  I am going to borrow some terms from the “pump people” to explain how vacuum systems are similar, yet different from compressed air systems. There are several ruts to get out of.  Remembering what changes and what doesn’t, what is controlled, and how to design systems for optimal energy consumption."

OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1019.134 Grade D Compressed Breathing Air Requirements

Compressed Air Best Practices, May 2017, by Nancy Aulisa.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/standards/nfpa-99-medical-air/osha-standard-29-cfr-1019134-grade-d-compressed-breathing-air-requirem

"Compressed air, commonly called Industry’s fourth utility, is the most common utility used in a typical industrial facility. Compressed air is used in more than 70 percent of all manufacturing activities including supplying breathing air to personnel using supplied air respirators. Hazardous breathing conditions exist in many routine industrial operations, such as chemical manufacturing, hospitals, abrasive blasting, paint spraying, industrial cleaning, and arc welding. In these and other operations that introduce contaminants into the workplace, supplied-air respirators, air filtration systems and carbon monoxide monitors are frequently used for worker protection."

Making Sense of Compressed Air at a Huge Chemical Plant

Compressed Air Best Practices, May 2017, by Don van Ormer.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/industries/oil-gas/making-sense-compressed-air-huge-chemical-plant

"A chemical plant spends an estimated $587,000 annually on electrical energy to operate their compressed air system. In addition, the plant has an expenditure on rental air compressors of equal or greater size - but this will not be covered in this article. The plant was built in the 1940s and modernized in the 1970s. The plant generates its own power and serves many processes. The average cost per kWh is $0.0359."

Fine Tuning Oil-Free Air Compressors and Purification at a Pharmaceutical Plant

Compressed Air Best Practices, Apr. 2017, by Don van Ormer.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/industries/pharmaceutical/fine-tuning-oil-free-air-compressors-and-purification-pharmaceutical-plant

"A pharmaceutical product manufacturer spends an estimated $137,443 annually on electricity to operate the oil-free air compressors in its compressed air system. The compressed air system operates well and is providing the level of purification required.  Our team visited the plant and identified a group of projects which could reduce compressed air demand and reduce energy costs by $42,248 – or 31% of current use. The objective of this article, however, will be to illustrate the review we did of all the supply-side equipment.  This includes the oil-free air compressors, dryers, filters, drains, oil-water separators and breathing air systems."

Compressed Air Savings with Nozzles or Blowers

Compressed Air Best Practices, Apr. 2017, by Jerry Zolkowski.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-assessments/end-uses/compressed-air-savings-nozzles-or-blowers

"Compressed air is used as a convenient and often necessary source of air flow to perform blow-offs, cooling, or drying.  And since compressed air is a costly utility, a frequent recommendation in this magazine and audits is to reduce the compressed air use by using high efficiency engineered nozzles.  Using these nozzles is a good practice as they are designed in a way that uses the compressed air to accelerate the surrounding air to deliver the same mass transfer effect as a standard nozzle (or tube) with a much larger orifice."

Compressed Air System Commissioning Part 2: Measurement and Data Plots

Compressed Air Best Practices, Mar. 2017, by Tim Dugan.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-assessments/compressor-controls/compressed-air-system-commissioning-part-2-measurement-and-da

"Facility managers, air compressor dealer personnel, auditors and utility DSM energy engineers: All three project stakeholders need to have one agreed-upon robust methodology for commissioning a system, and the teamwork to do it correctly the first time.  That is the intent of this series of articles."

Plastic Extruder Reduces Compressed Air Use by 367 cfm

Compressed Air Best Practices, Mar. 2017, by Don van Ormer.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/industries/plastics/plastic-extruder-reduces-compressed-air-use-367-cfm

"A plastic product manufacturer spends an estimated $245,000 annually on electricity to operate the air compressors in a compressed air system at its plant located in a midwestern U.S. state.  The main manufacturing process is plastic extruding. The current average electric rate, at this plant, is 7 cents per kWh. The compressed air system operates 8,760 hours per year and the load profile of this system is relatively stable during all shifts."

Compressed Air System Commissioning Part 1: Why Do It?

Compressed Air Best Practices, Feb. 2017, by Tim Dugan.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-assessments/compressor-controls/compressed-air-system-commissioning-part-1-why-do-it

"“Retro-Commissioning” (ReCX) of compressed air systems has become a trendy activity with many utility demand-side-management programs emerging in the last 5-10 years.  This is intended to be the process of “tuning up” a compressed air system, getting low cost savings from mostly adjustments and repairs.  The term was borrowed from the building/HVAC industry, where it means to get a system operating as it was originally “commissioned”."

DOE Completes New [Rotary] Air Compressor Standards

Appliance Standards Awareness Project, Dec. 5, 2016, by Chris Granda.
http://www.appliance-standards.org/blog/doe-completes-new-air-compressor-standards

"Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released new energy efficiency standards for rotary air compressors. These large air compressors power a range of commercial and industrial equipment such as manufacturing robots, pneumatic tools, and paint sprayers and use about 6 percent of all motor-driven electricity consumption in the industrial sector."

The Advantages of Onsite Nitrogen Generation for Brewers

Compressed Air Best Practices, Oct. 2016, by Mike Robinson.
https://www.airbestpractices.com/industries/food/advantages-onsite-nitrogen-generation-brewers

"Although the basic principles behind brewing are little changed since their advent, the technological aspects are much improved. Today, large stainless steel tanks are used for fermentation and wort aeration, and complex, automated systems help with everything from temperature regulation to bottling. A price tag comes with these high-tech systems, and it’s not insignificant. By using onsite nitrogen generation, brewers can save significant amounts of money throughout the life of their operation."
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