The Benefits of Efficient Air Compressors
Standard dental air compressors are not suitable for this purpose because they may not meet health and safety standards. Dental firms can choose from an array of models designed for small, medium, and large practices with a variety of features. Like other dentist equipment in the practice, a dental air compressor can be subject to inspection by health department officials to confirm it is safe for use with patients.
Studies have concluded that industrial plants waste roughly 30 percent of generated compressed air, which could equate to $9,600 for a typical scfm installation, or as much as $32,100 for 1,500 CFM. Estimates also indicate that poorly designed compressed air systems in the U.S. result in wasted utility payments of up to $3.2 billion.
Compressed air is only as good as its purity. When your process is exposed to oil, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep air clean, increasing the costs you’ll face — especially as you use more and more air. To address this concern, many companies are turning to oil-free or oil-less air compressors. Today, oil-free compressors are becoming more common because they offer cost savings.
Energy efficient air compressors will not only save money but will also help control pollution. A walk-through assessment can help identify conservation opportunities in your compressed air system. Large-scale air emissions are released when electricity is produced. Reducing the electricity needed for compressed air systems can help significantly improve air quality.
Many industrial compressors use oil for lubrication, creating an oil and water mixture called condensate, which contains hydrocarbons and other harmful contaminants that require proper disposal in accordance with government guidelines. Oil water separators, used in condensate management systems, can help efficiently remove waste. An outside waste management company can help dispose of compressor condensate.
You can experience cost savings from using an efficient air compressor. But compressed air can be one of the most expensive forms of energy in a manufacturing plant, with eight horsepower of electricity generating one horsepower of compressed air. In fact, the annual cost of electrical power can often exceed the initial cost of the air compressor.
The largest cause of energy waste results from unused, or leaked, compressed air. Heat loss is also a large component of wasted energy in the air compression process. With energy costs doubling in the last five years, it couldn’t be more crucial to make your compressor more energy efficient.
If you’re running your compressor at 100 percent while only using 50 percent of the maximum output, half of the energy used to power the compressor is wasted. Generating a demand profile and quantifying the volume of air used for each application you allow you to make an assessment of peaks and low demand. This information will ultimately identify the best uses for the air.
A sketch of the compressed air system – compressors, air supply lines and end uses – should provide a helpful overall schematic of the process, and even help identify problems related to air storage, pressure loss, leaks and condensation drains.