Posted by Compressed Air Systems on | Comments Off on Top Tips for Energy-Saving Air Compressor Maintenance
Globally, the air compressor market is quickly growing due to the versatility and cost-effectiveness of air compressor units. Between 2020 and 2028, the market is expected to grow at a rate (CAGR) of 3.4% annually. However, despite the wide adoption of air compressors, many businesses don’t prioritize air compressor maintenance, resulting in increased expenses due to costly repairs or replacements and the associated downtime. Air compressor maintenance offers you many benefits, such as time savings, safety enhancements, and reduced production costs due to less energy consumption. See our guide to inline clean air treatment here.
Top 5 Energy Saving Tips
Regardless of your specific industry or application, a well-maintained air compressor plays a vital part in reducing energy consumption. Here are five top tips you can implement to increase the energy savings from your air compressor:
Cost Saving Advice: Hoses, Fittings, and Waste
Check your fittings regularly, ensuring they create a tight seal. Loose fittings are a significant cause of leaks in air compressor units. If the fittings seem corroded or worn out, you should repair or replace them immediately. Consider inspecting hoses since they act as the system’s key connection points, and any damage to the hose could disrupt the entire system. Hoses usually get damaged during cold weather or bent, resulting in corrosion or cracks. Additionally, drain your unit’s receiver tank to avoid suboptimal operation due to a lack of storage capacity.
Apply Proper Controls to Multiple Compressor Units
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Proper controls maintain steady system pressure and ensure that only the required compressor units are brought online. This eliminates the inappropriate use of compressed air and ensures each unit is operating at peak efficiency. The controls are also helpful in turning off compressor units that are not needed or not being used.
Ensure Piping & Storage are Properly Sized
The problem with most systems is the lack of adequate storage and piping. When sizing piping, it should optimize the transfer of compressed air at the desired flow and pressure to the point of use. Having wider piping from two to three inches can minimize the pressure to around 50%. On the other hand, reducing the distance traveled by air can lower pressure by about 30%-40%. Having the wrong storage size can result in issues with production or increased costs due to wasted energy.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Air filters should be inspected monthly and replaced regularly. Drops in pressure as little as two psi can cost about 1% in compressor horsepower efficiency. Regular inspection and replacement maintain air quality and reduce the chance of pressure dropping. There are several point-of-use and air-line filters in a typical system, which should also be maintained regularly.
Reduce the Operating Pressure to the Lowest Possible Setting
A common rule for most compressors indicates that every 2-psi reduction in system operating pressure can result in 1% in compressor energy-saving efficiency. Continuously adjust the pressure setting to reach the lowest possible setting without compromising performance. Additionally, centralized systems using multiple compressors can be set to run using a central controller. Turning down the pressure on your compressor even 10 PSIG is a 5% savings in electrical costs.
Contact Compressed Air Systems for More Advice
Maintaining your air compressor is essential to ensure daily operations and equipment continue running without interruption. At Compressed Air Systems, we are proudly celebrating nearly 60 years of delivering superior equipment design and engineering, custom turnkey installations, compressed air leak detection and elimination, air compressor rentals and services, and more. We have partnered with Kaeser to create a long and productive business partnership as a proud supplier of Kaeser air compressors. Get in touch with us today for more information about our services.
The engineer in charge of the project wanted to replace that system with an oil-free air compressor and brought the idea to CAS. Sales Manager Kyle Randall took on the assignment and quickly realized there wouldn’t be enough space to install the compressor in the facility. This was going to require a custom solution.
CAS delivered a turn-key solution:
Randall and the CAS team designed a portable room to accommodate the oil-free system
The system performed as intended from the first day
When tested by third-party lab technicians, no hydrocarbons or particles were found in the air
It paid for itself within four months
Maaco Auto Body Shop: Orlando, FL
Meanwhile, at Maaco Auto Body Shop, their 30-horsepower air compressor was not performing reliably. The compressor room was too hot; the heat wasn’t being properly ducted away from the area.
Since Maaco had worked with CAS before, they knew we could help them. Jeff Guzzo, our Orlando area sales engineer, suggested two 15 hp Kaeser SM15 air compressors as an alternative to Maaco’s aging system:
One compressor was capable of supplying enough air on a daily basis
The second compressor was to serve as a backup, which would engage as needed
The team also made the appropriate improvements to the ductwork
Maaco has saved about $300 per month with the CAS system
Reviews From Our Florida Customers
At CAS, we are proud of the work we do and love knowing our customers are happy. These are just a few of our Florida clients’ reviews:
Samuels Auto Corp: Sanford, FL
“Your technician, Pete, went above and beyond for us. My machine was on its last leg and he took all the extra time to restore it as best as possible. He took the time to explain everything in detail. He did an amazing job!”
Environmental Services Department Company: City of Largo, FL
“We were having issues with our aging air compressor and in need of replacement. We searched compressor companies online and found Compressed Air Systems Inc. located in Tampa, FL. After calling the number, I was immediately connected to a salesperson—Bo Wenrich of Compressed Air Systems, who showed up at my location within an hour.
The inside sales rep, Jack, stayed on top of all communication, making sure the unit arrived on time and had delivered to the location in Tampa for all to be coordinated. Compressed Air Systems took care of all coordination between a Contracted Electrician and installation group.
I would recommend Compressed Air Systems to anyone…looking for a Quality Turn Key Experience!”
The Hill Group: Vero Beach, FL
“I wanted to make you aware that your installation crew and Levi Combs were professional on every level. They did an outstanding job installing my new Kaeser compressor, tank, and dryer.
The 15 horsepower Kaeser with dryer and 400 gallon wet tank is truly amazing. From the ease of operation to how beautifully quiet the Kaeser is, down to the air quality has surpassed my expectations. I have done my research on compressors and wasn’t going to settle until I had the best. I now know my research and time has paid off.”
Contact Us About Our Air Compressor Solutions
Since 1963, CAS has been providing compressed air solutions in Florida. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to serve many happy customers, and we look forward to continuing this tradition of top-notch customer service and custom solutions. For a personalized review of your current system, we invite our Florida customers to sign up for a free walk-through consultation to learn more about how to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Air compressors serve as essential components in a wide range of industrial and manufacturing applications. Regular compressed air maintenance is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and efficiency. Neglecting to perform regular air compressor services increases the risk of performance issues, which can result in extra expenditures as well as increased downtime. Air leakage, in particular, is one of the most costly compressed air system problems.
Intentional and Unintentional Leaks
No matter how big or small, air compressor leaks can be very bad for business. Below are some of the most common signs of unintentional air leakage.
Wear and tear is common in any type of air compressor. Over time, valves on your air compressor may loosen, allowing for air leakage. Checking the valves occasionally may help in preventing unintentional air seepage.
Air compressor systems rely on strong, sealed piping to release air with the right amount of pressure. Having holes in the piping or tubing of your unit can lead to multiple air compressor issues.
If the drain trap that funnels condensed water from your air compressor is faulty or open, air compressor leaks and water leakage can occur. These issues can also lead to more serious damage over time.
Air compressor leaks are sometimes intentional, brought about to assist in equipment cleaning, drying, employees cleaning off clothing, sweeping floors, etc. Although these leaks are created purposefully, they can still be taxing on your system, and many users end up misusing or wasting air.
Monitoring the frequency of intentional leaks will help in limiting the amount of wasted air. After all, your business is paying for every bit of air used.
Where the Costs Add Up
The biggest issue surrounding air compressor maintenance is the hidden cost of potential leaks. Most companies assume there is a higher cost associated with regular maintenance than reactionary repairs. However, an air compressor that isn’t regularly maintained will inevitably lead to higher costs over time.
In fact, a compressor air system that isn’t regularly serviced operates on a 20% leak rate on average, and some air compressors may lose up to 30% of their air. System leaks can also lead to higher energy bills. When your compressed air system maintenance falls to the wayside, production can be affected in a big way.
Make sure the company performing checks on your compressed air system does a comprehensive walk-through. They should be testing hoses, tubes, pressure regulators, and couple fittings to determine if there is leakage. They should also be utilizing sophisticated ultrasonic leak detectors.
An ultrasonic leak detector will pinpoint the location of the leak in your air compressor or lines. Having an ultrasonic leak detector on hand may also prove useful in between scheduled maintenance checks. A tool like the Jorc Locator can detect leaks up to 33 feet away, and also provides audible and visual indications of air leakages, making it easier to find the leak.
Stay Proactive With Compressed Air Systems
At Compressed Air Systems, Inc., we’re here to ensure that your air compressor is in tip-top shape. Our experts are at the forefront of compressed air solutions and are well-versed in all aspects of air compressor and system maintenance and upkeep.
Although many businesses rely on compressed air to ensure optimal process performance, reliability, and safety, many companies still overlook air compressor maintenance and upkeep. Regardless of your specific industry or compressor application, air compressors often play a major role in day-to-day operations. As compressor breakdowns can result in costly, time-consuming repairs and increased downtime, proper maintenance is crucial.
Below is a short checklist of five easy ways to avoid air compressor problems and ensure your equipment continues to run smoothly and efficiently.
1. Drain your air receiver tank.
Drain air from your compressor’s air receiver tank through the drain or plug located at the bottom of the compressor. When the receiver tank collects air from the machine, excess water and moisture is created and collected when in use. This is especially common during warmer seasons when there tends to be higher levels of humidity in the air. The moisture in the air is condensed in the receiver tank, adding up to large quantity of water in a short amount of time if not drained on a daily basis; receiver tank and piping damage can occur in the form of corrosion. A 25 HP/100 SCFM compressor can make 2-3 gallons of condensate per hour. Downstream, point of use equipment, can be damaged as well as improper function of the air compressor due to lack of storage capacity for the air. Ultimately an Automatic drain is recommended as well as manual bypass drain for daily inspections. There are several types of auto drains ranging from electronic timer, electronic zero-loss, auto magnetic float style.
2. Check your hoses.
Since the hoses in an air compressor act as the system’s key connection points, any damage to the hoses can be catastrophic to the whole system. To prevent leaks and cracks from developing, it’s important to check your hoses frequently — at least on a weekly basis. Hoses often become damaged as a result of inclement or cold weather, which can cause them to crack or corrode. Such damage then results in leaks, which can be quite costly due to reduced machine performance and expensive repair needs. Performing routine checks will help ensure that hoses remain clean and intact. And since leaks are often hard to detect, a leak-detection device can be hugely helpful for finding leaks early on — before major damage occurs.
3. Change the air filter.
Air filter inspections should be performed on a monthly basis and more frequently in dusty environments. It is not recommended to clean air filters unless they are designed to be cleaned and reused. Dirty filters restrict air flow, this makes the air compressor less efficient as well as allowing dirt and debris into the air compressor bearing and oil, causing premature failures as well as possible contamination down stream. This contamination is very crucial in the food and beverage industries, hospitals, surgery centers, labs, paint and body shop, and some manufacturing facilities.
4. Check the fittings.
Your fittings should be checked regularly to ensure that they’re forming a tight enough seal. Loose fittings can cause leaks to occur at one or even several sites on your air compressor. When fittings appear to be worn out or corroded, replace or repair immediately to reduce cost and inefficiencies.
5. Have a professional service team come out.
To save valuable time and provide some peace of mind, consider having a professional service team come out regularly to check for leaks, perform preventative maintenance, and make any needed repairs. Being proactive in scheduling routine checks and upkeep can help save time and money down the road, reducing the risk of extended downtime and costly repairs. This will also give you a more complete picture of your equipment’s health and help you anticipate any necessary fixes or issues well in advance. Plus, rather than worrying about the state of your air compressors, you’ll have more time to focus on your day-to-day business operations.
Keeping your air compressor healthy is one of the best ways to ensure your equipment and operations continue to run smoothly. Compressed Air Systems specializes in all aspects of air compressor maintenance and optimization.
Moisture buildup, in particular, is one of the most common air compressor issues, and we frequently field questions from clients on how to best avoid it. To learn how to fix air compressor moisture issues — as well as the other common problems discussed above — download our free guide to moisture content in compressed air.
A complete air system is not just in the mechanical room where the compressor station is, but it is the complete system including the distribution of piping, hoses, fittings, regulators and other components that are needed for each application.
Maintaining and optimizing your complete system starts in the compressor room with routine maintenance, and includes the modernization of your controls. A complete system analysis serves to identify energy efficiencies and pressure control, and helps to pinpoint potential areas for savings.
Compressed air in the pharmaceutical industry is held to an especially high standard of quality. Considered an important utility, it has numerous applications in environments where cleanliness is a critical factor in product quality and performance. While some aspects of the industry are more sensitive to contamination than others, the main challenges to air quality in the pharmaceutical industry are oil, moisture, and solid particulate.
Oil contamination in compressed air can come from the ambient intake air or compressing system. More specifically, it originates from oil particles present in the immediate environment, as well as compressor fluids and lubricants.
Some sources of this pollution include vehicle exhaust and industrial activity. Proper air compressor maintenance can control the extent to which oil contaminates air from the compressor. Using oil-free compressors, furthermore, may limit this type of pollution in the pharmaceutical environment.
If oil vapors, aerosols and liquids still pose an issue, however, it can be removed by installing a pair of coalescing filters in the compressor. These filters should be positioned downstream of the compressor and before the desiccant dryer.
Moisture is another common contaminant in compressed air. Water can be harmful in many ways. First, it creates an environment that can foster bacterial growth.
Moisture can also react with certain products and materials, causing damage and quality issues. Condensation can cause corrosion and rust, and even damage equipment. The solution for this particular issue is a desiccant drying system.
This system can be installed after the compressor and serve to absorb water vapor from the compressed air stream. Coalescing filters can also be utilized to remove water aerosols and liquid water, which cannot be removed by the desiccant drying system.