Compressed air distribution systems use up a significant portion of energy in most industrial facilities, which is why you need to understand how to maximize efficiency and minimize operating costs. Below you will learn about five common operating mistakes that compromise air compressor efficiency.

  • The pressure is too high Operating the system at a high pressure will require a lot more energy. In order to determine your ideal operating pressure, calculate the minimum pressure required for each user in your system. Set the air compressor’s delivery pressure so that the air user with the greatest required pressure can be effectively supplied.
  • Operating without an air receiver Air receivers are essential for the system to cope with sudden changes in demand. They also work as separators through which water and oil carryover can be drained at regular intervals. If your compressed air distribution system does not have an air receiver tank, consider adding one to buffer short-term demand changes and to reduce on-off cycling of the system. The tank should be sized to the power of the compressor. For example, a 50 hp air compressor requires a 50-gallon air receiver tank.
  • The air compressor is too large When an air compressor is too large, efficiency is compromised. It is essential to optimize your air compressor piping design to your level of demand.
  • Failing to manage air leaks Given the amount of effort that goes into compressing air, leaks can be thought of as cash flowing out of your air compressor system. Leaks need to be tracked and measured closely. The truth is, compressed air distribution system leaks can be costly. A one-eighth inch hole in a 100 PSI system can cost you more than $1,200 per year in wasted energy.
  • Inappropriate applications for compressed air distribution systems Because these systems are easily accessible, too many companies are using compressed air inappropriately. For instance, they see an air compressor as a convenient tool for blowing away dust and debris or keeping employees cool in hot conditions. However, these open blowing applications can be very expensive and inefficient.

Understanding how your air compressor system works is essential to running a productive and cost-efficient industrial facility. If you're looking for more information on optimizing a new or existing air compressor system, contact Rapid Air Products today.