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Energy Efficiency & Your Air Compressor – Pressure Drops

 
Air Compressor Pressure Gauges

Pressure drops can be a key factor in the (lack of) efficiency of your compressed air system. They are a natural element of any system and you’ll never eradicate them entirely, but often the instinctive reaction to excessive drops is to increase the pressure, which increases energy usage without resolving the underlying issues. So before you turn the pressure up, ensure you’ve driven down the drops. Here’s how:

Clean air: Dirt and moisture within a compressed air system increases the risk of pressure drops. Ensure you make effective use of driers and filters and keep a regular maintenance schedule to ensure they keep performing.

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System design: There are two elements to this. First, air which has to travel large distances between compressor and air tool is likely to suffer the greatest pressure drop. Second, even a compact system will risk large pressure drops where piping and ducting is inadequate. To solve the problem, choose professional air compressor system design to minimise distances, reduce the number of bottlenecks within the ducting, and ensure pipework is suitable for maximum airflow rates, not mere averages.

Equipment choice: Not all dryers, filters, aftercoolers and separators are the same. Some will result in a greater pressure drop than others. Whilst all the above will result in some pressure decrease (7 psid is typical) there can be a significant variance in the best and worst performing products. Talk to an expert about the right equipment for your system.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but compressed air equipment will produce best results when operating at its lowest efficient operating pressure. Maintaining that low level is only possible when you’ve minimised pressure drops, because when the drops are too great, the operating pressure will fall below that required to effectively operate the equipment at the end of the air lines.

But when you do reduce the pressure drops, you’ll find you can run your compressed air system at a lower pressure – and in any business using large quantities of air, the energy savings that follow from that can be significant.

For equipment, system design and maintenance to help your air compressor run more efficiently, talk to us on 0114 243 2347.

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