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Compressed Air System Efficiency Factors: Equipment Purchase Decision

Deciding on the appropriate equipment to be purchased is key to boosting total energy savings. Apart from equipment purchase price and maintenance, a compressed air system’s lifecycle cost is hugely affected by electrical power utilized. Investing on energy-efficient motors can significantly reduce operating costs and extend equipment service life, saving money in the long run.

Overall operating power costs don’t just depend on the air compressor, they also depend on other pieces of equipment supporting it. Components of energy-efficient air compressors include reliable airends, drive motors, and controls.

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Compressor Elements (Airend)

The style and size of airends can vary compressor performance by up to 20%. Efficiency and durability of a complete compressor package is affected by an airend’s size.

Larger airends with slower rotor speeds deliver more compressed air optimally, as compared to smaller airends. Clearances between rotors can be considered as leakage areas. A smaller rotor set presents higher leakage area per unit displacement in comparison with larger ones. Other factors that affect efficiency also include drag experienced when rotor speed is increased as well as gear friction from gear-driven units. These inefficiencies from smaller airends add up and lead to increased power usage.

The volume per minute of air delivered by airends can be determined by a rotor’s length, diameter, and speed. Rotor speed must be increased for a small airend to supply as much volume as a larger one. Some downsize airends and use gears to increase rotor speed to meet volume requirements. However, using gears on high-performance airends will eventually lead to wear and will need replacement.

Drive Motor Efficiency

Motors sized at 100 hp provide a maximum efficiency of 2% between EPAct and premium efficiencies. Variable-speed drive motors can control usage of electrical energy and lower utility costs. Integrating drive motors into applications like fans, cooling towers, and pumps can drop energy use up to 50% at partial loads. This is achieved by matching motor speed with the shifting load and system requirements.

Compressor Controls

Knowing the right control to use is vital to efficient compressor operation. These components match a compressor’s supply to its demand and can potentially earn 45% of energy savings. Having good demand-side management such as securing sufficient storage and flow controls can lower air usage, therefore translating to significant power cost savings.

SPECO carries a range of value-priced, efficient air compressors to meet you specific industrial applications. We offer heavy duty brand-new air compressors, rebuilt compressors, and pre-owned compressors. Browse air compressors from popular manufacturers including Atlas Copco, Gardner Denver, Ingersoll Rand, Sullair, and more! For additional product inquiries, give us a call at 888-793-4988 today!