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Energy efficiency in compressed air generation

The responsible use of resources and the saving of energy plays an important role for the profitability of a company today and will become increasingly indispensable in the future. This makes it all the more important to identify processes within the company in which potential energy savings can be achieved with relatively little effort. For example, in the generation of compressed air.

Understanding the life cycle costs of compressed air

 

The life cycle costs of a compressor are generally divided into three groups, the capital investment or purchase price, maintenance and energy consumption. Energy costs have the largest share of the three groups, followed by acquisition costs. The maintenance costs are the lowest.

Compressed air audits are a good way to quickly identify the actual costs. But it is important to understand how each of these factors affects your bottom line and what steps can be taken to minimize overall life cycle costs.

1. Power and motor efficiency

Each electric motor has an efficiency class that determines the percentage of electrical input power that the motor uses to drive the compressor. Although there is a wide range of efficiency classes, a good gerneral rule is: the older and the smaller the compressor motor is, the less efficient it is. For example, a 75 kW premium efficiency motor of class IE3 typically has a minimum motor efficiency of about 95%. To calculate this for your compressor, you need the motor efficiency in the motor manufacturer's data sheet and the motor power from the motor nameplate.

2. Service factor

The service factor indicates how far a motor can operate beyond its rated power without damaging the motor. A service factor of 1.15 means that the motor can be operated at 15% above its rated power.

3. Operating times and energy costs

The operating hours are the number of hours during which the compressor is operated at the given power value and are usually stated per year. The energy costs for your area can be obtained from your local energy supplier.

Here are the main reasons for the high energy costs of compressed air generation:

There are many ways to make a compressor station more efficient. We show you the first steps in our information sheet10 steps to more efficient compressed air generation.

 

Find out how you can make your compressed air production even more efficient: