Many manufacturers know that compressed air is often called the Fourth Utility. After water, electricity, and natural gas, compressed air is equally crucial for manufacturing, and luckily there are solutions to help improve energy efficiency to save costs and reduce greenhouse emissions. Additionally, increased efficiency is essential for ESG initiatives that ensure a healthy world for customers, employees, and communities.
Studies have concluded that industrial plants waste roughly 30 percent of compressed air. Lots of different factors can contribute to wasted energy. Clogged air filters can cause pressure drops or higher pressures, which turn into costly wasted energy. Random leaks in your air delivery can generate false artificial demand and creates more wasted energy. Make sure that your air compressor is operating at the right pressure!
Airend rerates are the most economical and efficient way to offer new operating conditions. Updating your aeros is accomplished by replacing specific aero components needed or replacing the entire airend. However, updating advanced aeros can be done on a case-by-case basis.
An airend derate is another energy-saving option when an air compressor is too large for a specific application. In this scenario, the unit wastes energy by compressing air that is not even needed. Derating airend components adjust the capacity and discharge pressure to save power and costs.
The right control panel for your air compressor will help easily manage all your system’s needs. The touchscreen operator interface makes it easy to adjust settings or monitor the compressor, while advancing technology allows plant operators to perform functions at the plant or remotely.
FS-Elliott’s Regulus® line of control panels, including the R1000, R2000, and R400, offer precise air system pressure control, maximized turndown capability, advanced adaptive control permits, protected operations for surges, built-in control modes that adapt to changing conditions, and multiple compressor energy management.
As the newest member of the regulus line, the R2000 offers the Energy Advisor and Maintenance Notification System as standard features. The Energy Advisor allows the user to monitor the efficiency level of their compressor operation and provides recommendations for improved efficiency. The Maintenance Notification System can track the usage of your compressor and advise when Predictive Maintenance is approaching or required, thus eliminating the potential for costly compressor downtime and improved performance.
Some air compressor units use Inlet Butterfly Valves (IBVs), which direct the airflow to the first stage of compression in a straight line, requiring power from the motor or turbine to increase air velocity. On the other hand, Inlet Guide Vanes (IGVs) allow the air to flow into the first stage in a pre-swirl motion due to the multiple vanes. The directional flow increases as the vanes close, reducing the energy needed by the impeller compared to an IBV.
Condensate drains remove moisture (condensate) from intercoolers and aftercoolers. FS-Elliott offers automatic condensate drains, which do not require daily maintenance or adjustments and can save you time and labor. Each drain operates according to the needs of your unit. This prevents over-draining and under-draining, preserving your system pressure and stopping wasted compressed air.
FS-Elliott recently announced the launch of FS-Connect, a 4G web-based connection designed to provide visibility of the operation status, performance compressor activity, and remote troubleshooting support. FS-Connect gives you a live report of your compressor status, including operational and maintenance notifications, monthly summary reports, and monitoring pressure/vibration/temperature. FS-Connect also provides maintenance tracking and energy-saving recommendations.
Contact an authorized FS-Elliott channel partner to learn more about how we can help improve the efficiency of your system.