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.
CASCO USA has been named a Northeast Region Supplier of the Year Finalist by the Oil and Gas Awards!
This honor is in recognition of our quality products and services provided to the oil and gas industry, including:
- KAESER Service and Instrument Air Compressor Systems
- Yamada Air-Operated Diaphragm Pumps
- Weir High Pressure Pumps
- Goodyear Hydraulic and Industrial Hoses and Assemblies
- Sauer Medium and High Pressure Compressed Air Systems
- Custom Engineered and Fabricated Packaged Systems
Prepare your system for winter with these tips from Kaeser Compressors on Winterizing Your Compressed Air System!
AEP Has committed to our upcoming seminars as well, and will be on hand to discuss energy rebate opportunities with our customers in AEP’s service area.
Find more information on the upcoming seminars here.
Two new seminar dates have just been added.
- Wednesday May 28th in Cleveland, Ohio
- Thursday May 29th in Pittsburgh, PA
This is a great opportunity to gain some insight on solving compressed air issues while also saving energy.
Representatives will also be on hand from Sodexo and CLEAResult (rebate program administrators for FirstEnergy) to discuss opportunities for energy rebates for your facility!
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Look for our upcoming article on CASCO USA Air Audits and the path to energy company rebates !