Cost for Compressed air Production
General Electrical energy is the dominant energy type with virtually all industrial compressed air production. In many compressed air installations there are often significant and unutilised energysaving possibilities through, e.g. energy recovery, pressure lowering, leakage reduction and by optimising operations through the choice of the control and regulation system.
It is profitable to look to the future as far as possible and try to assess the affects of new situations and demands that might apply to the installation when planning a new investment. Typical examples are environmental demands, energy saving demands, increased quality requirements from production and future production investments. Optimised compressor operations are becoming more important, especially for larger, compressed air dependent industries.
Production changes over time in a developing industry and thereby the conditions for compressor operations. It is therefore important that the compressed air supply is based both on the actual requirement and on plans for the future. Experience shows that an extensive and unbiased analysis of the operating situation results, on nearly every occasion, in improved overall economy. Energy costs are clearly the dominating factor for the installations overall economy. It is therefore important to concentrate on finding solutions that comply with demands of performance and quality as well as demands on efficient energy utilisation. The added cost involved with acquiring compressors and other equipment that comply with both of these demands will been seen in time as a good investment. As energy consumption often represents approx. 80% of the overall cost you should exercise care when selecting the regulation system. The difference in regulation systems overshadows the difference between types of compressor. The ideal situation is when the compressors full capacity is adapted exactly to balanced consumption, something frequently applied in process applications.
Most types of compressors are supplied with their own control and regulation system, but the addition of equipment for co-control with other compressors in the installation can further improve the operating economy. Speed regulation is becoming a popular regulation method, due to the power requirement being virtually proportional to the speed, drawn capacity. To think carefully and allow the requirement govern the selection of regulation equipment gives good results. If a small amount of compressed air is required during the night and weekends, it can be profitable to install a small compressor adapted to this requirement. If, for some reason, you need another working pressure, the requirement should be analysed to discover whether the entire production can take place from a compressor centre or whether the network should be divided up for different pressure levels. Sectioning of the compressed air network can also come into question, in order to shutdown certain sections during the night and at weekends, to reduce air consumption or when you wish to apportion costs internally based on flow measurements.