Friday, June 3, 2011

Piping Installation Choices Can Contribute to Savings

Many plants have piping for their compressed air systems that has evolved over the years and has not necessarily been planned to supply flow and pressure to each process properly. By comparison, if your electrical system was expanded is a similar, haphazard manner, you might find you were constantly battling a lot of small electrical fires. Let’s try to avoid that.
Here are some of the areas you can check to see if your air distribution system is in good health:
  • Do you have more than an 8 PSI pressure drop between the compressor and the furthest point or critical area in your plant? If so, you need to investigate your pipe sizing and configuration.
  • Does your compressor cycle load and unload in less than one minute? If so, you may need additional tank storage capacity and/or a remote pressure transducer.
  • Do you have an area that complains of low pressure when a process is started? If so, you may need a remote tank to serve this process and protect the rest of the system.
  • Is there rust and scale in your piping causing equipment operation or hand tool issues? Is so, you may need to clean or replace with copper/coated aluminum piping to eliminate the problem in this area along with a final filter.
If you are able to change your piping and reduce pressure by 10 PSI, you will save five percent in energy over the course of the year, which could be thousands of dollars. Along with this, you will be providing better quality air to your plant and allowing your equipment to run more consistently. Here is information on air compressor piping that you may find useful in evaluating your situation.