You’ve done the research, completed the performance comparisons, created life cycle cost analysis spreadsheets, and maybe even lost a little bit of sleep perfecting your pitch to get the purchase requisition signed. But in all of your planning and number crunching, did you remember to consider how the compressor room location will impact equipment performance? The real estate mantra, “Location, location, location” rings true for getting the energy savings you’re expecting from your compressed air system. For reliable and efficient compressed air performance, consider ventilation, equipment clearance, and the overall compressor room environment.
How does ventilation impact compressor performance?
Compressors and related compressed air equipment need a steady supply of cool inlet air to function properly. This cooling air helps ensure the equipment remains below its maximum operating temperature. Poor ventilation leads to high ambient temperatures which in turn causes:
- Lubricant degradation
- Drive motor damage
- Equipment shutdown
- Excess moisture in the compressed air
Additionally, excessive moisture can overrun air treatment components. This can then carryover into the plant air, contaminate end processes, and lead to higher scrap rates and waste.
Proper ventilation is two-fold: it not only supplies the cooling air flow, it also exhausts the heat generated from the equipment away from the compressor room. A compressor generates 2,550 BTU/h per horsepower, this is a considerable amount of energy which, without removal, is now working to heat up the compressor room. Additionally refrigerated and desiccant dryers also generate heat. Having proper ductwork and/or exhaust fans to channel this heat away is essential to keeping your entire system running reliably and efficiently, otherwise, your brand new system is headed for trouble. An additional way to divert the hot air exhaust from the compressor is to recover the heat generated; this can not only reduce room temperatures but can also save a significant amount of money.
How much clearance is needed around compressed air equipment?
When laying out your compressor room, it’s important to leave ample room around the equipment—away from any walls, doors, and other pieces of equipment. Most manufacturers supply the recommended minimum clearance in service manuals. You can request it during the specification stage of your buying process.
Beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations, also consider maintenance access. Can service technicians easily access the equipment? Is there enough clearance to open the service doors fully and/or remove the service panels? In addition to routine maintenance, you’ll want to make sure there’s room to safely maneuver any special equipment such as cranes and forklifts to not only put the compressor in place, but also perform major service work, such as exchanging an airend or drive motor.
Compressor room how-to’s
The last tip is to consider the location of the compressor room in relation to everything else in your plant. For example, it’s not the best choice to locate the compressor room next to the boiler room which can serve to increase the overall temperature of your compressor. If there’s no other choice, proper ventilation, sufficient cooling air inlet, and proper exhaust air practices (as mentioned previously) will be all the more critical.
You’ll also want to be mindful of the air quality you have in and around your compressor room. If your compressor ingests fumes or other contaminants, those will only be passed on to your process. Here’s a prime example:
The compressor room is installed right next to the parking lot. All of the exhaust fumes from the cars are funneled directly into the compressor room for its inlet air.
So don’t neglect your compressor room’s location. Considering the ventilation, maintenance access, and proximity to potential contaminants can keep your system running reliably and efficiently for years to come.
By: Neil Mehltretter
The new Kaeser Sigma Air Manager or (SAM 4.0) collects information from each compressor and builds a complete picture of the requirements of your system. Using this information, the SAM 4.0 runs the specific compressors best suited for the conditions in your facility. Per Kaeser, the ”SAM 4.0 actively monitors compressed air systems to:
•significantly reduce energy costs
•lower maintenance costs and improve up-time by notifying maintenance team or service provider with predictive alarms, warnings, and equipment health status indicators before failures occur
•improve equipment reliability by systematically optimizing the utilization of critical compressed air system components”
Our partners at Kaeser are coming to Pittsburgh to host a half-day conference at Heinz Field designed to educate and network manufacturing and engineering professionals in compressed air best practices. Hosting will be two highly experienced engineers: Wayne Perry is Kaeser’s Senior Technical Director and Werner Rauer is The Product Manager for Kaeser’s Screw Compressors. Werner is also the author of many of the articles at kaesertalksshop.com, an excellent resource for compressed air advice.
The Conference will host two seperate learning tracks for attendees:
Elegant and Efficient: Compressed Air System Design In this track, Werner Rauer takes the first hour to walk through the ideal design – what you need and why. In the second hour, he acknowledges that the opportunity to put together a system from scratch, where even the size and location of the compressor room are in an engineers’ control, does not come along very often. We put together compressed air systems in less than ideal conditions in the real world. So the issue we need to consider is how we move in the direction of the ideal in actual situations we face.
Leaking Money: Optimizing Compressed Air Systems for Sustainable ProfitabilityWayne argues for a paradigm shift in the way we think about compressed air systems. Typically, they are conceived in terms of machinery meant to deliver a particular result on the demand side of the system. This, he believes, is precisely the problem. Instead, we need to think of a compressed air system as a utility, not unlike electricity. And when we do, there is demonstrable evidence that we will not only decrease our carbon footprint, but increase our bottom line.
The schedule is as follows:
8:30 am Registration and Breakfast
9:15 am Plenary Session and Breakfast
10:00 am Breakout Session 1
11:00 am Breakout Session 2
12:00 pm Interview and Q&A over Lunch
12:45 pm Closing Session
1:00 pm End of Conference
We encourage people of all backgrounds to join us at this incredible event. To sign up follow the below link.
Piston and Rotary Screw Compressors are ideal under different circumstances. This chart gives an indicator of which may work best for you.
Post originally found at kaesertalksshop.com
By: Neil Mehltretter
The New Year has started and with it an endless supply of solemn vows to stop smoking, hit the gym more regularly, and shed those last ten pounds. For some, these will be life-changing resolutions, for others, yet another round of empty promises made in haste right after the ball dropped at midnight. So what about your compressed air system? Do you have a plan for making meaningful improvements to your system efficiency or have you have made another half-hearted resolution to reduce waste…somehow? Here are three tips to keep your compressed air resolution.
- Make an informed resolution. Don’t grab an efficiency improvement percentage out of thin air. In order to set a goal for your compressed air system, you first need to have an understanding of how the system is currently operating—its strengths and weaknesses. The best way to do this is with a compressed air assessment. A good one will help you build a demand profile and identify areas of inefficiency. It will also help you understand how your plant operates throughout the day, week, and over various shifts and levels of production demand. Let the data help you determine what you should resolve to change and how.
- Be specific. It’s really not enough to say you want to reduce your energy costs. That’s only half of the resolution. The other part is to take specific action to accomplish it. For example, conduct a leak detection audit and fix the leaks that, based on the compressed air assessment, account for 25% of plant demand. Adding in the action part of the resolution will also give you some accountability to make the changes happen. And again, because you’ve gotten the compressed air assessment done, you’ll have actionable steps you can take to achieve your goals.
- Follow-up to confirm you’ve met your resolution. After you’ve implemented the specific changes, check to make sure they’ve given the results you expected. You can do this with another compressed air assessment or by analyzing the data collected by a system master controller. This follow-up audit will make sure you are on the right track and also identify new areas for optimization.
If you’d like help with a compressed air assessment, contact us and we’d be more than happy to help.
Compressed air inefficiency sees your plant when it’s sleeping and it knows when production is awake. It knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good and eliminate these inappropriate compressed air uses in your plant and save yourself a bundle of money for goodness sake.
Personnel Cooling: If you have personnel using compressed air to cool themselves, stuff their stocking with a fan instead.
TET Drains: These are essentially timed leaks since they vent compressed air on a timer. Say “Bah humbug” to these drains and replace them with automatic demand drains which activate only when there’s condensate. Not sure this would really save you money? Read here how one plant saved $11,320 annually by making the switch.
Leaks: A single, 1/4” leak on a system operating at 110 psig, 8,760 hours a year, and paying $0.10/kWh costs you $17,818 annually…and that’s just one leak. Get a leak detection audit of your system and follow through with fixing the leaks. The US Department of Energy estimates 25-30% of all compressed air generated is wasted to leaks—more than enough to keep 11 pipers piping. So fix the leaks in your system and put that air back to work for you.
Open Blowing: Using compressed air for cooling, drying, draining, cleaning, or sweeping, is money wasted. Low pressure blowers, fans, and—in the case of sweeping—brooms, are a much more efficient solution and will leave you in much better spirits for roasting chestnuts over the yule log.
Aeration: Low pressure applications are typically better suited for blowers. Blowers use less energy and have lower maintenance costs compared to compressors. As to whether or not this makes sense for your system, do the math and let the calculations guide your sleigh. If aeration is a very small part of your process, then it may not be cost-effective to purchase additional equipment. If this is the case, keep an eye on this process. If the demand grows over time, it may make sense down the road to switch to blowers.
So you’ve got your list of inappropriate uses of compressed air—check it twice. Better for you to find out if your system is naughty or nice. Because your energy bill, much like the big guy in the red suit, is coming to town.
By: Wayne Perry
Join our friends at KAESER Compressors for an informative webinar!
Presents . . .
How to Improve Energy Efficiency in a Compressed Air System
September 2, 2015
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that half of all compressed air is wasted. While compressed air is necessary for industrial manufacturing processes, it is costly to produce. Attendees of this presentation will discover immediate and long-term strategies for improving compressed air efficiency based on leak detection, compressed air audits, and heat recovery.
Compressed air is vital for industrial manufacturing processes and is quite often referred to as the fourth utility. At the same time, it is a very heavy energy consumer. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that half of all compressed air is wasted due to leaks, artificial demand, and inappropriate uses. This presentation covers key strategies for improving energy efficiency in compressed air systems. It covers ways of providing immediate, medium-term, and ongoing savings opportunities. Attendees will learn the benefits of adding a leak detection strategy to their plant; understand the key elements of a worthwhile compressed air audit; and discover how to turn their compressors into an energy source.
- Learn the advantages and disadvantages of piping materials
- Understand the three methods of leak detection and the differences between them
- Know what to look for in a competent compressed air auditor
- Learn how to read an audit chart
- Discover the basic ways heat recovery can be integrated into a plant
Michael Camber, Marketing Services Manager, Kaeser CompressorsA nationally recognized authority on the subject of compressed air, Michael Camber is Kaeser’s Marketing Services Manager. He is KFaCT Master Certified, and has completed the U.S. Department of Energy’s Compressed Air Challenge Level I and II training.
Neil Mehltretter, System Design Manager, Kaeser CompressorsNeil Mehltretter oversees Kaeser’s System Design and Engineering group, which has conducted thousands of industrial compressed air studies and has helped users achieve significant energy savings and operational improvements. He is AIRMaster+ certified, has completed the Compressed Air Challenge curriculum, and is a Master Certified System Specialist through Kaeser’s Factory Training Program.
Werner Rauer, Product Manager, Screw Compressors, Kaeser CompressorsWerner Rauer is Kaeser’s Product Manager for rotary screw compressors. A 29-year Kaeser veteran, Rauer currently serves as the Chairman of the CAGI Rotary Positive Engineering Committee.
I’ve never understood the reluctance to take care of routine compressor maintenance. They’ll say compressed air is absolutely critical for their plant and that their processes can’t function without it. But, in the next breath admit they don’t regularly change the oil or check the air filters on their compressor. Truthfully, regular care and maintenance is one of the best ways to bring a little Zen to your compressed air system. It can reduce unscheduled downtime and keep your system running as efficiently as possible. Here are five tips on what to consider when putting together a maintenance plan for your plant.
1. Start with reading your service manuals. If you no longer have one for your compressor, get one from the manufacturer. While you’re at it, get one for any dryers, drains, and filters. Service manuals have a wealth of information in them—including a section on service. You should be able to find basic information on how often to check oil levels, drains, and change out consumables. The manual will also give guidance on the maintenance that’s necessary for maintaining the service warranty. Keep in mind that the service intervals included are guidelines—some applications may require more frequent care. This brings us to tip 2.
2. Consider your application. Some of this is simply common sense. If your compressor is in a high dust environment, for example a cement plant, you will likely have to change the inlet filters more often than indicated in the service manual. If your installation is located in the humid bayous of Louisiana, you’ll want to check your condensate drains more often (many have test buttons). And you will want to do occasional oil analysis. The information in your service manual is a great place to start, but you should let your system’s needs and conditions guide you in customizing a plan.
3. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer. There’s no shame in asking for help. The manufacturer knows their equipment the best and how it should perform in your installation conditions. They can provide special recommendations for service intervals to keep your equipment in top shape. In fact, it might be the best and most cost effective solution since many offer service contracts. Depending on the size of your plant and what personnel you have to perform the service, you just might save money by going with a service contract.
4. Beware of using aftermarket parts. I know it’s tempting—you think you’ll save some money up front by using them instead of genuine replacement parts. But, aftermarket parts can negatively impact efficiency, increase service frequency, and possibly even void your equipment warranty. When you take all that into consideration, it’s just not worth it.
5. Stop, look, and listen. The best thing you can do is regularly check on your system. Get to know it when it’s running at its most energy efficient. That way you’ll be able to better recognize when something isn’t right. Part of this is a bit of detective work as well—are you hearing complaints about extra moisture in the lines? Maybe a drain is clogged. Problems with pressure drop? Check the filter pressure gauges or open them up to see if filter elements need to be changed.
An ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure and when it comes to compressor maintenance, it can mean the difference between a stressful, unscheduled shutdown, and a well-maintained compressor.
By: Werner Rauer
Werner Rauer is the Product Manager for rotary screw compressors at Kaeser Compressors, Inc. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been with Kaeser USA for 27 years.
Everyone wants to save money. But when it comes to a compressed air system, what’s the best way to do it? I recommend looking for inspiration in a nice, big piece of pie.
Compressed air system costs can be broken down into three basic (and broad) categories: equipment purchase price, maintenance, and electricity. Here’s an example from The Compressed Air Challengeto illustrate the cost breakdown for these three categories over the ten year life of a system:
These costs are for a 500 hp compressor, running 3 shifts, 7 days a week, with electricity costs at $0.05/kWh.
You can tackle where to focus your energy optimization efforts like you would eat a pie—go for the biggest piece.
Many people make the mistake of nibbling away at the lifecycle costs pie by slicing and dicing the maintenance costs. This doesn’t work for two reasons—first of all, in the grand scheme of things, maintenance costs are really just a small bite. Cutting those costs won’t have a major impact on the lifecycle cost of the system. Secondly, preventive maintenance is key to ensuring your equipment is running as efficiently as possible and it prevents unscheduled downtime and improves the longevity of the equipment itself. This is not the area you want to try and save a few bucks—it will end up costing you down the road.
Equipment selection is also not a place to try and squeeze out some savings. You might pay up front for quality, but chances are, it will last longer and also run more efficiently, saving you money years down the road.
If you want to make a lasting impact on your bottom line, grab your knife and fork, pull on up to the table and dig in to the energy slice of the pie. There are any number of ways to improve energy efficiency, such as:
- Fixing leaks,
- Examining control strategies,
- Replacing manual and timed condensate drains with demand drains.
If you aren’t sure where to start, consider doing a compressed air assessment.
A good assessment from a reliable provider can help identify areas for optimization and outline steps for achieving the efficiency gains. Keep in mind that quite often assessment findings make it possible to lower the system operating pressure, which means lower energy costs, less wear and tear on components, and lower maintenance bills.
So when it comes to cutting costs for your compressed air system, don’t be shy—go for the biggest slice—and do it with gusto. The improved uptime and reliability you’ll enjoy as a result from optimizing your system will be the whipped cream on top of your deliciously efficient piece of pie.
By: Wayne Perry
Press Release, March 26, 2015
CASCO USA honoured with Industry Supplier of the Year in the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards
The Oil & Gas Awards announced this year’s annual Northeast Oil & Gas Awards recipients in recognition of those companies who excel in the key areas of Health & Safety, Operational Excellence, Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship.
CASCO USA attended the 3rd Annual Northeast Oil & Gas Awards and received the Industry Supplier of the Year on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. The annual Northeast gala ceremony was held at the The Westin Convention Center – Pittsburgh, 1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222, where hundreds of oil and gas executives gathered together to celebrate Operational Excellence, innovations in technology, CSR, Health & Safety and Environmental Stewardship.
The Industry Supplier of the Year Award recognizes suppliers of materials and equipment to the oil and gas industry. Companies who have demonstrated reliability, gone the extra mile to provide the oil and gas sector with impressive customer service and can show details of their CSR initiatives are rewarded. CASCO USA scored highest in the category with such remarks from the judges as:
“Great supplier in the Northeast region, offering seminar education sessions and a tailored approach to the provision of compressed air systems.”
“Leading equipment supplier with audited bespoke solutions. Extremely comprehensive submission, with strong supporting documentation.”
About the Oil & Gas Awards
The Oil & Gas Awards recognize the outstanding achievements made within the upstream and midstream sectors of the North American oil and gas industry. The Awards are a platform for the industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of environment, efficiency, innovation, corporate social responsibility and health and safety. The Awards show the industry’s motivation to develop by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of corporations and individuals. For more information about the Oil & Gas Awards, all regional awards and award categories can be reviewed on their website at www.oilandgasawards.com.← Older posts