If a compressed air user wants to make a New Year resolution for 2014 then BEKO TECHNOLOGIES strongly advise to focus on one simple area. That could be to stop letting air go from 7barg to atmosphere without doing any useful work or work that could be done more efficiently or less costly. The area that would come to mind for most engineers would be leaks. It is well known these days that compressed air is not cheap. It is in fact less efficient power source than electricity but has many other benefits such as safety, ergonomic lightweight tools to mention a couple of reasons that engineers select compressed air driven products.
So the engineer is aware that he should get his leakage down. How should he start? Without a measure of how much leakage there is currently then effort could be wasted on a diminishing returns basis. So get a percentage of how much air is leaking. There are many ways to do this, simply checking how much air a compressor will provide when the factory is off line is the simplest way provided the factory does go off line. What is acceptable as a percentage? This is a difficult question to answer because waste should be stopped but if it costs more to stop than the saving then it is pointless. Many systems have more than 10% leakage and this would be a significant sum when costed. The answer is to have scheduled ultrasonic leak testing on a basis that can be determined by results i.e. how quickly after an exercise to reduce leaks do they start reappearing. If after a 3 month check there is little change then push the frequency out and the converse is obvious. This is one of many energy saving services that BEKO TECHNOLOGIES provide.
There are other ways that air goes from pressure to atmosphere without a practical value. Solenoid drain traps for compressed air condensate are a step up from the old converted steam traps but are a source of wasted compressed air. The setting of the timer will nearly always be wrong and the setter will err on the side of caution and waste air rather than have a build-up of oily, acidic condensate. The reason that solenoid/timer systems waste air is because of the infinite number of combinations of temperature, relative humidity, blocking of coolers etc. means that in summer the condensate volumes will be different to winter. There is a very simple solution to this, in fact the start-up of BEKO TECHNOLOGIES was about solving this problem. Berthold Koch an engineer entrepreneur set up the business after being told by his employer at the time “there is no market for a drain like that”. The drain was the level sensing BEKOMAT which has now sold more than 3 million units and is the generic product for the compressed air industry. No compressed air is wasted on installing this type of drain, which looks expensive at first sight but has a very quick pay back in reality.
There are not too many large heatless desiccant dryers installed but they consume so much compressed air, typically 15% but can be higher. If this type of dryer is present then the best option would be to change out the product for a zero purge dryer such as our EVERDRY range. These change outs can produce remarkably quick pay backs. BEKO TECHNOLOGIES have examples as low as 6 months but less than 2 years is the norm. The wastage of compressed air is on the use of dried air expanded to produce super dry air for the regeneration of the desiccant column once saturated. The water vapour migrates to the super dry air to create an equilibrium and is then purged away to waste. There are some heated dryers too which have purge losses and whilst the same dramatic level of payback cannot be seen there is still a good case for investigating. Another solution would be to retrofit a system which does not purge automatically on a timer but measure the Dewpoint and only switches from the drying tower to the regenerating tower when necessary. Desiccant drying is an area where products and diversity have improved tremendously in recent years and engineers looking to save cost should definitely be checking out the cost of drying the compressed air.
BEKO TECHNOLOGIES do not make compressors or sell them but have team of experienced technical sales and service people who can help compressed air users optimise their costs in 2014 via savings downstream of the compressor itself.
Contact: Ruth Goodison
BEKO Technologies Limited,
2 & 3 West Court, Buntsford Park Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England, B60 3DX.
Tel: 01527 575778. Fax: 01527 575779.
E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.beko-technologies.co.uk
BEKO Technologies Ltd
Our area of expertise is everything that is downstream of an air or gas compressor.