Auditing is crucial to better understand how your compressed air system is operating and determine ways to improve efficiency, reliability, and overall performance. We perform hundreds of audits every year because we believe sound recommendations come from good data.
The first step in auditing is measuring the existing compressed air system. This involves hooking up kW loggers that measure amps, volts, and power factor of the incoming power to each compressor onsite. We then hook up a pressure logger to monitor the discharge pressure of each compressor. Once the loggers are hooked up, we let the equipment record for 7 continuous days, taking a sample every 1 second.
Monitoring a system by measuring just compressor amperage and not system pressure is a waste of everybody’s time and could lead to implementation of bad ideas. If you are going to do an audit, why cut corners?
It might seem strange to measure power to tell how much air a compressor is making, but it’s actually more accurate than installing flow meters to physically measure the volume of air moving in the pipe. Once we know how much power a compressor is consuming, applying performance curves tells us how much air the compressor is producing.
Once we have 7 days of data, we can then report the following:
- Annualized Compressed Air System Cost
- Plant Demand Flow
- System Efficiency and Benchmarks
- Backup System Effectiveness
This data analysis is where the real work of understanding your system begins. Do you truly know if your backup compressor never comes on during peak demand? Is the pressure drop across your air treatment (air dryers, filters, etc.) a reasonable figure? How much air does 2nd and 3rd shift truly use, and does it correspond with production levels?
In addition to performance, our audits take a hard look at your system and how it measures against best practices. Is your condensate being disposed of lawfully? Is your compressor actually drawing minimal power when unloaded? Do you have appropriate pipe size in your compressor room and distribution system?
Once we know the current system’s demand flow profile, we can recommend the best compressor(s) possible to meet that demand while also solving other system issues. Using sophisticated software, we have the ability to model the performance of the recommended compressor(s) against the performance of the existing system, giving us a precise energy savings figure.
In addition to energy savings, our audits take a comprehensive view of other system improvements, such as:
- HVAC – recapturing heat and using it to heat space
- Backup compressor viability
- Maintenance cost saving measures
- System pressure drop savings
- Air quality improvements