What A Compressed Air Audit Can Tell You
Generally, you would be seeking out a Compressed Air Audit to define a system baseline and to determine where inefficiencies are happening within your system. By having an audit performed or doing one yourself, you are ultimately hoping to reduce your operating costs. These operating costs can be high because of many different malfunctions or sizing issues within your system. After all, compressed air typically accounts for 10 to 15 percent of a company’s total energy bill.
“The biggest mistake I see companies make is using more compressed air than they need,” said Ryan Koepsell, mechanical engineer for John Henry Foster (JHFoster). “They’re running 100-horsepower compressors when they could get by with 40 horsepower. Or they just run their plant at a higher pressure, thinking that will offer them more reliability.”
Keep reading to find out the types of issues you can discover in your system by performing a Compressed Air Audit and the recommendations we make.
What It Identifies
Compressed Air Audits should identify any and all issues that are causing a loss of efficiency in your system. A good analysis will also help determine whether a system other than compressed air is best suited for the task at hand. The actual issues particular to the compressed air system itself identified by the audit includes:
- Incorrect or improperly sized piping
- Poor choice in or malfunctioning equipment
- Improper or malfunctioning controls
- Incorrect compressor configuration or sizing
- Air quality
- Suggestions for improved efficiency (including air saving equipment)
Once the Compressed Air Audit is completed, our audit specialist will prepare recommendations for your system including equipment upgrades, piping recommendations, compressed air use reductions, and more. The specialist will then walk you through on the best ways to accomplish these changes and the cost of doing so. They will also identify any rebates or programs you qualify for in order to reduce your cost of fixing your system and to increase your ROI. Xcel Energy as an example, offers up to $25,000 in rebates for compressed air studies. Focus On Energy also offers rebates.
The task of performing this audit and making the necessary system changes may sound daunting. However, the audit is well worth the benefits. From a Compressed Air Audit, you will be able to improve your system’s operation and better the quality and reliability of your compressor. In addition, you will reduce your maintenance costs, and decrease your energy costs. Generally, you can expect to reach ROI within the 6-12 months of performing the audit. However, that is if you make the changes required for efficiency fairly quickly.