Compressed air users urged to stop wasting energy

Article by Adam Duckett

THE British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) has launched a campaign to help companies cut their compressed air energy usage by 10%, in a bid to save £147.5m (US$192.6m) in waste electricity costs.

Process plants use compressed air for many applications including pneumatic conveying, to operate pneumatic instruments, and in cleaning, aeration, mixing and drying processes. However, BCAS estimates that inefficient systems are wasting as much as 30% of the energy being used.

Vanda Jones, Executive Director of BCAS, says there are many options for companies to improve efficiency. This includes upgrading compressors, replacing filters more frequently, and recovering waste heat for use in other applications. BCAS has published a report outlining incremental steps that can build to big savings. For example, it estimates that reducing air leaks in compressor systems is a measure applicable to 80% of users and could contribute to a 16% saving in energy use.

“Many operators may feel that this will require significant investment in new capital equipment, when often, taking small, incremental steps can have a significant impact on energy consumption,” Jones said.

BCAS has launched what is has called a 10% Taskforce and is calling on companies to read its report and pledge to make savings.

Jones wrote a feature for The Chemical Engineer in 2020 outlining in detail the efficiency opportunities available for process plants.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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