How to Cut Costs by Minimizing Demand in a Compressed Air System

How to Cut Costs by Minimizing Demand in a Compressed Air System BayControls Banner Image

The demand side of a compressed air system is both very important and potentially very expensive for many industrial facilities.

The demand side is made up of all of the components after the compressor discharge.  But it’s possible for components of your demand side to not be part of normal production.

Let’s explore what these components are and what you can do to minimize demands in a compressed air system.

Typical Demand Components

The main problematic (but common) demand components can include:

  • Inappropriate uses of compressed air: Any application of compressed air that could be served more efficiently by another medium or piece of equipment. Some examples include: cleanup, drying, process cooling, personnel cooling, and air motor-driven mixers.
  • Leaks: When compressed air is lost to ambient conditions.
  • Artificial demand: When your system consumes any additional compressed air beyond what the system requires. This usually indicates design flaws with your system.

Tips to Minimize Demands—and Cut Costs

To minimize demands, we recommend that you:

Match System Pressure to Actual Needs: If you lower your pressure set point (closer to the minimum needed for production) all of the unregulated demand also decreases because the volume of air leaving the system is less.

Identify and fix leaks. Be aware of your common leak problem areas (e.g., couplings, hoses, tubes, fittings, disconnects, pipe joints, point of use devices, flanges, thread sealants, etc.). Find out where they are and fix the problems; you can reduce leaks to less than 10% of the compressor output!

Eliminate inappropriate uses of compressed air. Know what these inappropriate uses are so you know what to eliminate. Some main examples include: open blowing, sparging, aspirating, atomizing, padding, dense phase transport, vacuum generation, personnel cooling, diaphragm pumps, and cabinet cooling.

Minimize unregulated demand by making sure there are no open/leaking valves. If, for example, your condensate drain valves are open or leaking, you’ll lose a significant amount of compressed air.

Make sure all components of your compressed air system are serviced regularly and performing as they should. One of the ways to monitor your systems’ performance is to use a total system management software solution.

Have you ever experienced any of these common demand components? What did you do to resolve them?


Questions about this post?

If you have questions or comments about this post, please contact us!