How to design an efficient, reliable and tailored compressed air system
The steps and advantages of undergoing a compressed air audit
Is it time to upgrade your compressed air system? Have you thought about how you will ensure the right compressed air equipment is selected to meet your exact requirements in the most energy efficient and reliable way possible? Not sure where to start? In this blog post we look at what is involved in a compressed air audit, what the advantages are, and how an audit can greatly assist you in developing a tailored, reliable and efficient compressed air system.
No two compressor stations ever run and operate the same. It is therefore vital that when you are looking to upgrade, replace or extend an existing one, that you fully understand your sites requirements and the systems current usage profile. Why? Only then can new compressed air equipment be correctly selected and sized in order to achieve an efficient and reliable solution that optimally meets your unique requirements. The most comprehensive way to achieve this is by undergoing a compressed air audit. A comprehensive audit would include the following 3 key steps;
Step 1 – create a precise requirement profile
It is vital to first create a precise requirement profile for each of your fields of application. This should involve gathering all the necessary production parameters and conditions including:
- Air quality; what air quality is required for each application? Do you require standard blowing air or clean room quality Class 0 air according to ISO 8573-1?
- Existing components; which compressors or consumers are already installed? Are you using a master controller? What is the state of the pipe network? Are you using heat recovery?
- Installation location; what is the state of the supply air, air circulation and exhaust ducting? What are the space conditions like? What are the room ambients like? What is the state of the electrical supply?
The answer to all of these questions should be considered.
Step 2 – generate a current air usage profile
The next step would be to generate a current air usage profile. The most accurate way to do this is by having an ISO 11011 compliant audit completed – such as the Air Demand Analysis (ADA) service from Kaeser.
Here measuring equipment is installed for a set period of time and continuously records the airflow by measuring the pressure differential. The information is stored in a data logger. Once retrieved, the latest technology allows precise, computer-aided evaluations of the data, to generate precise consumption profiles of your system. In other words it determines what your actual air demand is throughout all operating sectors and at different loads.
The advantages of undergoing an air demand analysis are threefold:
- It highlights weaknesses in your existing compressed air system
- It identifies any poorly dimensioned installations
- It lays the groundwork for the next step towards achieving an optimal compressed air station by calculating the energy-saving potential
Step 3 – evaluate your current usage profile and determine the optimal solution
The data retrieved from the air demand analysis is evaluated using computer-aided technology. This not only generates a precise consumption profile of your existing compressed air system, but it can then be further utilised to compare several possible concepts in order to achieve the best possible efficiency.
Sophisticated evaluation systems, such as the KESS – Kaeser Energy Saving System, also take into account the performance of the compressed air station during its overall service life. This means that any weak points in partial load operation can be detected in advance and remedied. Furthermore energy efficiency is calculated by precisely comparing power consumption with the delivery of compressed air. The most economical solution is then selected from several possible concepts.
Utilising such tools as the ADA and KESS from Kaeser, ensures that when it comes to developing your new compressed air system it is planned, designed and tailored to meet all of your compressed air requirements.
By fully understanding your sites requirements and current air usage profile, a tailored compressed air system can be designed – including correctly selecting and sizing all components – that meets your unique requirements for optimum efficiency and reliability, keeping your air costs to an absolute minimum.
Want to learn more about the Kaeser ADA and KESS? Click here