Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Air Compressors

In general, this article focuses on the definitions of terms often used to understand centrifugal air compressor performance. Comments are also made on how to measure power consumption. This article is not intended to be an engineering discussion of the various types and designs of centrifugal and other air compressors.
Variable speed control for all types of industrial equipment is now readily available on the market with competitive pricing to non-variable speed controlled alternatives, including in the air compressor industry. With the advent of prescriptive rebate programs for variable speed compressors and other equipment, the demand for these types of controls has increased. General wisdom would recommend a variable speed compressor for all applications, or multiple variable speed compressors within each system.
Compressed air systems are present in almost all industrial processes and facilities. They have been correctly identified as an area of opportunity to reduce electrical (kW) energy costs through measures like reducing compressed air leaks and identifying artificial demand and inappropriate uses. Water-cooled air compressors can also be significant consumers of water and reducing these costs can represent a second area of opportunity.
This facility is part of a major corporation with dozens of manufacturing facilities where consumer good food products are processed and packaged for shipment to retail outlets. The factory was spending $210,000 annually on energy to operate their compressed air system. This system assessment detailed four (4) project areas where yearly energy savings totaling $100,855 could be found with an investment of $100,000.
Anest Iwata was the first company in the world to develop the air-cooled, oil-free(dry), scroll vacuum pump. We provide a very compact package with lower vibration and noise levels than competitive offerings. Our oil-free vacuum pump market share, in Japan, is estimated to be fifty percent in the <600 L/min flow range.
When you send your air-end to a company to have it rebuilt, do you get a piece of paper with no more information on it than what it is going to cost to rebuild or do you get a full technical evaluation, complete with photos, showing the damage inside your air-end and explaining what needs to be done regarding repair? There is a company out there that is now giving you this choice.
Having set a goal to reduce their own energy intensity by 20 percent by the year 2020, Atlas Copco has also set the ambitious target for the energy consumption of the products they sell. Using the Global Reporting Index as the way to establish metrics, there is real substance behind the sustainability program at Atlas Copco.
Any time you troubleshoot a large motor drive, you run the risk of both electric arc and electrical shock. Arc blasts are less frequent but deadly. They’re most commonly caused by a dropped wrench or other tool that lands across high-energy bus bars in an open cabinet. This kind of short circuit is upstream of protective fuse links and lets loose thousands of amperes of fault current.
Most P.E.T. bottle-blowing machines require anywhere from 550 psig (38 barg) to 580 psig (40 barg) and an air flow of 247 cfm FAD (420 m3/hr) to 3700 cfm FAD (6290 m3/hr). The air compressor technology used most prevalently for this application is the double-acting, oil-free, water-cooled, reciprocating air compressor. With the higher pressures and air flows that are required, the P.E.T. bottle blowing market is a strong niche market for the double-acting oil-free reciprocating (piston) compressors.  
Several days prior to our visit, during a cold winter evening, the lead air compressor in one mechanical room tripped off (apparently due to a fouled intake filter and low air flow through the machine). A crucial situation then developed: The "stand-by" unit did not start. Maintenance folks had to be called in to get a compressor running. That delay caused low plant air pressure, production curtailment and some defective product. They had yet to determine the conditions that caused the "no-start".
Production processes get their energy from the air stored at higher pressure in the piping distribution system. The air compressors simply replenish the air that is consumed. It is an important distinction to make. The energy input in compressing the air is supplied to the connecting pipes for delivery to the various demands throughout the facility.