Compressed air is an essential element in a wide variety of operations found in manufacturing. Compressed air production and distribution represents one of the primary electricity costs in many industrial plants. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that compressed air systems account for 10% of all electricity use in the industrial sector.
Both the supply side (compressors and conditioning equipment) and the demand side (distribution and end use) can be targeted to significantly improve energy efficiency.
This program is designed to reduce electricity consumption through a comprehensive approach to efficient production and delivery of compressed air in industrial facilities. The program includes (1) training of plant staff; (2) a detailed system assessment of the plant’s compressed air system including written findings and recommendations, and (3) incentives for capital-intensive improvements.
The program is designed to serve any existing commercial or industrial facility that uses electricity compressed air applications.
- Customer shall be on a retail industrial rate.
- It must be a manufacturing operation whose compressed air system is turned on during all the operating hours of the facility.
- The business shall have been in operation for at least two year prior to January 1, 2012, be in good standing with the Member System, and have a good chance of remaining in business for at least two years after the retrofit is concluded.
- The program is intended to reward reduction in leakage.
If the customer reduces at least 60% of the compressed air leaks, the cost of the original audit will be reimbursed back to the customer.
Determination of the amount of leakage reduction
The leakage reduction will be determined by the measured reduction in compressed air leakage.
EKPC shall conduct an ultrasonic compressed air leakage audit and provide the results of this audit to the customer. The report will have an estimate of the amount of excess load in KW that the leaks are causing. The report will include a list of leaks detected. The list of leaks and the excess kW load will be based on the criteria listed below.
Upon completion of repairs to the system, EKPC will conduct a follow-up audit and measure the difference in the KW leakage load.
Criteria for leak reporting
The criteria for reporting leaks shall be at the discretion of the auditor. Consistent criteria shall be used in the before and after audits. The criteria that the auditor usually uses are listed below.
The basic rule is that leaks that do not exceed 30 dB in ultrasonic noise will not be reported or counted in the leakage KW load.
Exceptions to the 30db rule.
In a quiet environment with a minimal amount of compressed air, the minimum will drop to between 15 to 20 dB.
In a high noise environment, especially with robotic welding, the minimum will be raised to 40 to 50 dB. (Welding is on the same frequency as compressed air)
The distance is also a factor. A 25db leak in a trunk pipe in a 20ft ceiling, in a noisy environment, will be documented and added to the leakage KW according to the distance.