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## Top 7 Compressed Air Energy Saving Tips

Do you want to reduce the electrical costs associated with your compressed air system? More than likely – you can. Start by determining your annual compressed air electricity costs using the following formula:

Braking power X 0.746 X annual operating hours X kWh (kilowatt-hour) cost (divided) Engine efficiency

*NOTE: 1 CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) @ 100 PSIG (Pounds Per Square Inch) 8760 HOURS COST $110.00 PER YEAR IN ELECTRICITY *

Next, follow these top 7 tips for saving compressed air energy:

**1. Fix air leaks **

If you do nothing else, follow this one tip: Find and repair compressed air leaks. Air leaks are the “biggest relaxer” in industries!

An average plant loses 20-30% of its compressed air due to several small air leaks. The money spent on manpower and parts to find and fix these leaks is well worth it. Note (1/4 inch hole flows 103 cfm @ 100 psig)

**2. Choose synthetic lubricants**

If you use petroleum-based lubricants, you can experience up to 8% energy savings by switching to synthetic compressor lubricants. In addition, extend the life of equipment and save on oil change and disposal costs.

**3. Reduce plant operating pressure **

If possible, reduce the overall pressure on the plant. Less pressure > less CFM used > less energy consumed.

TIP: Reduce plant pressure by 2 pounds at a time, then test for at least 24 hours. If any of the units are having problems…then increase the pressure by 2 pounds until it runs smoothly again. For every 2 pounds of pressure reduction, you save 1% on the electricity costs of running your air compressor.

**4. Check the pressure difference between the air compressor filters.**

Start with the compressor housing filter and then check the compressor inlet filter.

Note. A dirty intake filter can cost you 1-3% extra in electricity costs. Why? As the reduction in air flow at the compressor inlet valve increases the compression ratio, resulting in longer run time.

Next, check the air/oil separator pressure differential at full load. The new separator causes a differential pressure drop of approximately 2-3 psig. If your pressure drop reaches 8-10 psig, it’s time to replace the separator elements. A dirty separator element can cost you up to 5% extra in electricity costs.

Next, replace the control air filter element. This oft-overlooked but still important filter where the controls get the air signal. The pressure drop causes the controls to receive a lower pressure signal, putting more stress on the compressor and using more electricity.

**5. Reduce the compressor inlet temperature**

If you reduce the incoming air temperature by 10°F below 70°F, you will save 2% on your electricity consumption. Your benefits increase up to 8% on a 30°F day. However, increasing the inlet temperature by 10°F above 70°F will cost you 2% additional electricity use for every 10°F up to 10% at 120°F. (Inlet temperature has very little effect on lubricated screw compressors)

**6. Check the pressure difference between the compressed air line filters.**

Compressed air filters are sized twice (2x) the CFM flow rate of the compressor. This will reduce your pressure drop by about 2-3 psig and save you 1% on energy costs. The elements last twice (2x) longer and you save on maintenance costs.

**7. Know the quality of compressed air your plant needs.**

The cleaner and drier the compressed air is, the more energy is consumed.

Consult the manufacturer of your device to determine the required air quality.

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