AIR LEAKAGES IMPACT AND SOLUTION
Pay to Sight not to Flights!
Compressed air is the most used energy fluid in industry, but also the most expensive for hardly 10 % outputs. To a 6 000 hours annual production during 5 years, we admit generally that the production costs divide up into 75 % for the supply of energy, 13 % in investment and 12 % for maintenance fees.
The compressed air production comes to the 2nd or 3rd place of energy fees for a company. It is normal to consider its improvement potential. Some companies add a compressor to compensate leakages. This situation is not exceptional...
Leakages can represent up 30 to 40 % of the consummate volume. This important difference depends on every network configuration and on the common maintenance.
Leakages can appear everywhere on the network (links on line, steam traps, filters, pressure regulators, gates, fast joins, rubber pipes, misuse, etc.) in the most hidden as in the most inaccessible places. They generate ultrasounds inaudible for human ear. A proactive hunting program for this type of wasting is enough to reduce the leaks to an acceptable volume.
Reduce the flights to 5 % of the consummate volume.
It is as true as preventing from reaching the minimal service pressure, the tendency is to increase it. Thus increasing the percentage of loss. Considering the components number of any compressed air circuit, it is easy to imagine the flights potential and the financial return on a detection campaign.
You can quantify compressed air losses and estimate the generated profit.
Under particular conditions, the method allows to quantify every detected leak and to calculate profit generated by its repair. What more gratifying than to be able to draw up the quarterly or annual generated savings report? And what more gratifying than a better energy outputs management and a quick profit? Advantages get by your network maintenance.
For example, a single 3,9 inches diameter leak in 6 bars costs you already 144 € a year. In 12 bars, it costs you 480 € a year. Experience shows that the economy potential on the group production-distribution-utilisations of compressed air is sometimes superior to the economy offered by only reducing the leaks (what is systematic on the pressures lower than 4 bars).
Leaks by wear.
To wear out a network and compressed air equipment is inevitable. We can analyze two aspects of the phenomenon: the main and secondary distribution networks and the links of various equipments.
The distribution network can be configured in various ways, but generally, the piping is connected by threaded or welded links. Threaded links become gradually leaking during the years. These leaks are usually less important than those who occur in the final links. Corrosion can also cause leaks. Corroded pipes must be replaced for safety and energy efficiency reasons.
Majority of leaks arise in the links between equipment and a main piping network.
An air leakage testing allows saving money by avoiding:
- a useless over consumption,
- additional energy fees bound to the air production,
- a maintenance extra work,
- additional devices purchase as a result of existing machines misuse,
- outages due to a pressure lack.