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  • 1. Air Compressor Efficiency Opportunities Industrial Energy Efficiency Workshop December 11, 2007 1
  • 2. AIR COMPRESSORS Types of Air Compressors • Rotary Screw (most common) • Oil lubricant (or not) • Most economical • Reciprocating (looks like an engine, pistons) • Oil lubricant (or not) • Low duty cycle (<50%) • Centrifugal (high hp) • Impeller driven • No lubricant 2
  • 3. AIR COMPRESSORS System Components – Air compressor: Motor, Air End, Coolant – Control Panel: monitoring, set points – Lubricant/Air Separator (oil contaminant) – Dryer (desiccant or refrigerant) – Air storage (receiver, piping, and end use) – Filters and pressure regulators – End use equipment (specifications) 3
  • 4. AIR COMPRESSORS Features of Air Systems – 80 to 85% of energy is output as heat – Higher hp motor is more efficient • Tend to be oversized for plant expansion – Roughly 4 cfm per hp rating – Air storage may be limiting • Short cycling of compressor – Leaks at major fittings or equipment – Employees think it is ‘free’ air 4
  • 5. AIR COMPRESSORS Typical System at a Plant – 50 to 200 hp units; 24/5 or 24/7 hours – Primary unit and a backup unit – 100 psig at the compressor – Air storage receiver (150 to 1,500 gal) – Lead/lag or modulating controls – One dryer (desiccant or refrigerant) – Vent to outside air (excess heat, inlet air) – 20 to 30% hp lost to air leaks 5
  • 6. PLANT 550 COMPRESSOR LOADS 45 Thursday, June 3, 2004 - Monday, June 14, 2004 40 15-MINUTE LOAD, kW 35 30 25 20 Plant System Operation: 15 10 5 Power Used 0 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 11:45 AM 6/10/04 6/11/04 6/12/04 6/13/04 6/14/04 6/3/04 6/4/04 6/5/04 6/6/04 6/7/04 6/8/04 6/9/04 – Operate with TIME (hr:min) Production CSU IAC PLANT 537 AIR PRESSURE at Amada Pulsar 1212XL Thurday, August 21, 2003 - Thursday, September 4, 2003 – Possibly shut off at 140 120 night Laser Air Pressure, psig 100 80 60 40 20 0 8/21 8/22 8/23 8/24 8/25 8/26 8/27 8/28 8/29 8/30 8/31 9/1 9/2 9/3 9/4 TIME (hr:min) 6
  • 7. Pressure Variation IAC 531: Cooper Turbocompressor 250 hp Air Compressor June 18 - 19, 2003 120 110 Pressure, psig 100 90 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 0:00 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 TIME (hr:min) 7
  • 8. AIR COMPRESSORS Control Strategies: Systems Approach – Match supply with demand • Avoid short-cycling or blowing off excess – Individual compressor controls • Start/stop • Load/unload (not deliver air in unload) • Modulating match delivery to demand – Restrict inlet flow or vary controls • Variable frequency drive (VFD) – Reduce speed with low demand From: Compressed Air Tip Sheet #7 8
  • 9. AIR COMPRESSORS Control Strategies: Systems Approach – Multiple compressor controls • Lead/lag: one compressor is primary • One fully loaded, others as trim • System master controller: coordinates all units – Monitor with trending data – Pressure/flow controllers • Separate supply from demand side • Requires storage • Deliver air at lowest stable pressure From: Compressed Air Tip Sheet #7 9
  • 10. AIR COMPRESSORS • Seven Step Action Plan – Basic Block Diagram – Measure baseline; calculate use and costs – Control strategy aided by specialist – Determine energy, pressures, and leak load – Schedule preventative maintenance (PM) – Fix inappropriate uses; adjust controls – Evaluate performance, inform management 10
  • 11. AIR COMPRESSORS • Top Recommendations – Repair Air Leaks – Shut Off Compressors When Not Needed – Install a Smaller Compressor – Use Waste Heat in Another Area – Use Outside Air for Inlet Air – Lower Pressure Set Points – Reduce Inappropriate Uses of Air – Install a VFD with Control System 11
  • 12. Cost of Air Leaks vs. Hole Size COST OF ENERGY LOST TO AIR LEAKS $8,000 $7,000 $6,000 Energy and Demand Costs, per yr $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $0 0 1/32 1/16 3/32 1/8 5/32 3/16 7/32 1/4 Leak Diameter, inches 12
  • 13. AIR COMPRESSORS • Uses and Inappropriate Uses – Pneumatic controls • Electronic alternatives: microcontrollers – Equipment actuators • Electric or hydraulics • Blowers: lower pressure – Cooling cabinets or equipment • Blowers/fans use lower power – Blow off equipment vs. brushes 13
  • 14. AIR COMPRESSORS • Uses and Inappropriate Uses – Fluid agitation • Blowers usually as effective – Vacuum creation • Use an actual vacuum system – Pneumatic tools: grinders, drills, wrenches • Electric usually as effective, but heavier • Hazardous environment may use air vs. electric 14
  • 15. AIR COMPRESSORS • Preventative Maintenance – Periodic changes of filters/lubricants – Monitor pressure/power – Operate/test backup systems – Maintain dryer, separator, and storage – Check condensate drain traps – Repair air leaks; keep records – Manufacturer representative checkup From: Best Practices for Compressed Air Systems 15
  • 16. AIR COMPRESSORS • AIRMaster+ Software – Objective performance assessment – Model supply side and electrical demands – Efficient and systematic approach – Impact of potential changes • Control strategy • Adding air storage • Compressor replacement from: Best Practices for Compressed Air Systems 16
  • 17. AIR COMPRESSORS • Summary – Universal need for compressed air – Major use of energy at most plants – 20 to 30% hp lost to air leaks – Preventative maintenance needed – Uses and appropriate uses – Control strategies influence efficiency 17