Monday, October 1, 2012

The Incentive Clock is Ticking for 2012

This is the last time this year that you will hear about opportunities for additional power company incentives.

Why?  Because within the next 30 days it will be too late for most power company incentive application processes. 

A number of utilities are continuing to be aggressive in their incentive programs within the guide lines set up by DOE.  As examples:

·         NGrid is aggressively pursuing equipment replacement incentive with an additional incentive with the equipment installed by December 1, 2012. Heat reclamation saving natural gas can be combined for even more rebate funds
·         NStar programs are just as aggressive in equipment and system upgrade including demand-side improvements. All work must be done by the first week of December. Heat reclamation saving natural gas can be combined for even more rebate funds
·         PSNH is currently looking for projects for 2013 as all funds have been allocated at this point
·         CT Light & Power will offer additional incentives based on each application including low pressure blowers to replace compressed air as well as piping system changes.
·         Efficiency Maine is actively looking for additional projects to finish their year with strong rebates so that the program can continue in 2013
·         Efficiency Vermont is looking for combined projects for air conservation and heat reclamation that need to be completed by early December for substantial rebate monies

You do not have to buy new compressor equipment to receive an incentive from your local power company.  What they also want help you save energy by making changes in your demand side of the compressor or cooling system that will reduce the load and save kw.

You can do the following and receive incentives:
1.     Re-pipe for lower pressure drop.
2.     Add receiver to reduce compressor loading.
3.     Replace timed drain traps with demand traps eliminating air loss.
4.     Install a flow meter to determine current and future flows as well as monitoring leaks.
5.     Install reduced volume blow off nozzles and solenoid valves on production equipment to reduce air flow in use and shut off when not in use.
6.     Reclaim waste heat the either by ducting or hot water to reduce natural gas usage

Most projects that we have looked at are carrying a 1½ year ROI once the power company has had a chance to review.  This is an incredible opportunity that should not be missed in 2012 as we know budget cutbacks will occur in these programs will shrink. You need to act now if you have any viable projects

Contact your local power company below or call Frank at 508-351-1817 or e-mail so that you can get into a 2012 rebate program.

·         MassSaves (includes all MA power companies)
·         Efficiency Vermont
·         Public Service of NH
·         CT Light & Power

Did You Save Money Last Winter?

Heat Recovery Revisited
A properly designed heat recovery system can conserve 50 to 80 percent of this wasted energy and put it to work heating a space or a process. Why don't we do this? Possibly because most people are too busy and do not realize the potential savings. Do not lose out for 2013.

·         An air cooled rotary compressor produces 2552 BTUs per horsepower which means that 100 hp produces approximately 250,000 BTUs of waste heat
·         70% recovery would give approximately 175,000 BTUs that are absolutely free to use for room heating or liquid heating
·         A typical home requires approximately the same 175,000 BTUs to heat it on the 20° F day
·         175,000 BTUs of gas at $.80 per therm would cost $1.40 an hour for 4000 hours equaling $5600

The next question is what kind of heat recovery systems make sense and are relatively simple to implement?  Some of these points were covered in the previous newsletter but are important enough to recap again for air cooled rotaries:

Simple Method:
Exhaust heat from the compressor room in the winter into an adjacent area being sure that there is enough makeup air so the room does not go negative. In the summer an exterior wall exhaust fan would have to be used to keep the room cool. This is especially effective for cold warehouses and loading docks. The ROI on this solution would be normally under one year.

Moderate Method:
Duct the output from your cool compressor to a manually operated Y diffuser, which allows the direction into the plant in the winter and outside in the summer. The ducting has to be designed properly to prevent back pressure, which could cause compressor overheating. The normal back pressure is .25 inches of water. Again the room has to have proper makeup air so a negative pressure is not created, which affects compressor operation. This more complex solution normally has a two-year or less ROI.

Complex Method:
Most often used in a new compressor room, a fully automated inlet and outlet damper system is designed to maintain constant compressor temperature as well as discharge temperature to the plant area year-round. The system requires engineering for the specific compressor(s). Many power companies offer additional rebates for secondary gas energy savings, which help bring the ROI for a complex system below two years.

What happens if you do not have use for the heat from a compressor in the immediate area? With air cooled rotary you can use small horsepower duct blowers with flexible tubing or engineered ducting to carry the heat to the areas that will benefit most.

Many people do not realize that a compressor running between hundred and 180°-190° F can also effectively heat hot water. A properly designed oil to water heat exchanger can be used on both an air cooled and water-cooled machines to carry the waste heat to a process or a remote area. Great care has to be taken to properly engineer the heat exchanger for each compressor so as not to affect oil system pressure.

Hot water heat recovery is used extensively in Europe. Examples are:

·         Washroom water in a major foundry
·         Hot water for the bleaching process and a paper mill
·         Pre-heating of water for boiler applications for an automotive plant
·         Feed water for humidification systems in textile weaving rooms

Again many power companies offer additional rebates for secondary gas energy savings which could bring the ROI to below two years.

If it's free or at least has a two-year ROI why don't we use it and be more efficient as well as adding to the bottom line? Let us know what you have for a heat recovery requirement application so we can review it with you. No concept should be considered too wild.

For more information please contact Frank at 508-351-1817 or e-mail him at

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Flow Meter for Your System Can Lower Operating Costs

It has been my experience that an investment in a flow meter from $500 to $1000 can often be paid back in less than a year. That is, the direct cost of the meter; not to mention the wasted electricity that you won’t waste anymore.

A flow meter can verify actual output of your compressor to make sure it is performing correctly. It can check your air system usage on a day to day basis to make sure that there is not any abnormal increase due to misuse or equipment issues. A flow meter can check leaks when your plant is down to see if there is any increase. And, you will be able to plan for any future air use by knowing what you are using today.

Technology combined with smart design has allowed the CDI flow meter to be installed in a matter of 10-20 minutes by simply drilling two small holes and clamping the unit onto the pipe in an appropriate location. Recording can be done through an optional flash card and downloaded to a computer plotting program. This allows you to easily see what is going on in your system on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

If you run a 25 HP compressor 4,000 hours a year paying .15/KW, you will spend approximately $12,900 in power. The flow meter with monitoring done a monthly basis can easily save 10 percent or approximately $1,300 per year by seeing what is really happening in your air system. You pay for the flow meter in less than a year!

Give us a call for additional information on these meters as well as a system review to see where it might be appropriate to install in your plant. You may contact Frank Lederer at 508-351-1817 or email for additional information.