It’s an automatic, almost involuntary response: there’s a leak, you fix it. But when you’re talking about repairing compressed air leaks, it’s not like wrapping duct tape around a garden hose. Nothing spills on the floor. Depending on the leak location, there could be considerable time and expense involved in fixing it. But what is the payback on that? Knowing if the situation merits the necessary outlay of money and manpower can be quite the dilemma…that’s when a Scales Leak Study can be a valuable asset.
“At Scales, we pride ourselves on being able to deliver the expertise our clients need to operate at maximum efficiency,” says Sales Manager Robert Schwarz. “By having our compressed air systems specialists do a comprehensive Leak Study, we can tag existing leaks, quantify them, and provide determinations as to the proper course of action.”
According to Schwarz, compressed air leaks is one of the largest contributors to the inappropriate usage of compressed air. And for many companies, air leaks can account for up to 30% of total compressed air usage. Repairing these leaks will increase the available compressor capacity, but a full evaluation has to also take into account your system’s ability to “Capture the Savings”. That’s because reducing your system demand doesn’t always reduce its operating costs to the same extent.
For example: a typical 100hp (500 cfm capacity) compressor costs approximately $76,000/year to operate at full load ($0.10 per Kw, 8,760 hours/year). Repairing enough air leaks to reduce the load by 15% translates into the following:
- Modulating Inlet Valve Control …approximately $3,600 saved annually
- Load/No Load… approximately $1,450 (dependent on receiver capacity)
- Variable Speed or Variable Displacement…approximately $10,000
Obviously, reducing air demand provides the greatest savings with a Variable Speed or Variable Displacement type control; however, you can still recognize savings with Modulation or Load/No Load controls if the reduction in air demand can prevent a second compressor from turning on or by modifying the system. Scales can determine if you’re current system is capable of “Capturing the Savings”.
While we can all agree that leaks are a waste of money, the control type and size of the specific compressor(s) being used will determine the energy cost savings associated with the repairs. A Scales Leak Study could reduce your operational costs significantly. Scales can send technicians to repair leaks, or provide guidance to a local contractor. In the cases where your existing equipment cannot “Capture the Savings”, Scales can frequently upgrade the existing controls to capture the energy savings or install new energy efficient air compressors.
For more information about Scales Leak Study or information on how to conduct your own leak survey call the location nearest you to speak with one of our representatives.