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Technology, Service, Parts & Maintenance

Three Ways to Increase Air Compressor Efficiency


It seems like every day there is a new product or technology that claims to be faster, better and more efficient. Combining new technologies with maintenance best practices can yield significant energy savings. Did you know, estimates indicate that poorly designed and maintained compressed air systems in the United States account for up to $3.2 billion in wasted energy costs annually? Because compressed air is an essential component of a number of manufacturing processes in a variety of industries, it is important to make sure compressed air systems operate as efficiently as possible.

Here are three simple ways to increase air compressor efficiency:

1. Upgrade to a Variable Speed Drive Compressor

A conventional variable speed drive (VSD) compressor can save a manufacturing plant up to 35% when compared to a traditional load/unload compressor of the same type. And, as you may know if you’ve been following along, Atlas Copco’s new VSD+ offers energy savings of up to 50%.  Quite simply, a VSD air compressor monitors the compressed air demand, measures the energy and air needs and adjusts output accordingly. You only use what you need and the result is increased efficiency and significant energy savings. Plus, the payback time is short and energy savings are ongoing.

2. Add Energy Recovery

As air is compressed heat is produced. However, the heat has to be removed from the air before the air can be used in the end process. Instead of diverting the heat into the atmosphere, energy recovery uses the heat byproduct in other processes such as heating water. This is particularly useful in manufacturing plants that already need hot water for processes such as scalding, cleaning, sterilizing and steaming. When using recovered energy, the consumption of fuel can almost be completely offset.

3. Fix Leaks

Neglecting to identify and fix leaks on a regular basis can contribute to major inefficiencies throughout the compressed air system, not to mention significant energy losses as precious air seeps out of piping systems. The bottom line is an air compressor is only as efficient as the integrity of the infrastructure that supports it. Analyzing a system for existing air leaks and fixing those leaks can dramatically reduce energy bills while simultaneously increasing the system’s efficiency.

Increasing air compressor efficiency does not have to be a daunting task. If you are still stumped, contact us and a compressed air expert can help you realize how efficient your compressed air system can be.

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