Air compressors are commonplace in factories, industrial units, and on sites across the country. Their versatility, and their efficiency, has made them indispensable. But like any equipment, they can lose efficiency.
Whether it’s because of faults within the compressed air system, or changes to how you work, your compressor might not be performing as well as it could.
Routinely auditing your compressed air system isn’t just good for your compressor, it’s good business sense, too. Every compressed air audit will typically highlight several improvements, like repairs and upgrades or operational changes, that can help save you significant amounts on your operating costs.
Why audit your compressed air?
Although the principles behind compressed air systems are simple, there’s still a lot that can go wrong. But because they are designed for use in robust environments, often these little problems might not be noticed, but can mount up. A compressed air system that seems to be working perfectly can, actually, be hiding numerous minor faults.
Our audits are compliant with the ISO 11011 standard, meaning that they are manufacturer-independent and offer an impartial view of performance. Our audits will not just consider the compressor, but the complete system, so we will find issues like air leaks too, pipework issues, equipment specification issues, and operational considerations that affect performance.
The result is an actionable audit that helps you to maximise your compressor’s efficiency and minimise its costs.
What does an audit involve?
Our audits typically last at least a week. This allows us to ensure we have a complete picture of your compressor use. Individual features of an audit will include:
- An inventory of your compressed air system: This means we fully understand your compressed air installation equipment and how it works.
- A visual inspection of your installation: This can identify some issues, but also helps us to understand the environment your system is in, and the demands you make of it.
- Ultrasonic detection: This will help us identify compressed air leaks, it’s rare that a compressed air system does not have some leaks, and these can have a significant impact on performance and cost.
- Full data logging: We will install data loggers at key points in your system. These record data like power, dew points, flow, and pressure over time. This helps to isolate problem areas, as well as usage patterns.
What the audit reveals
After a full audit, we do not just have a complete picture of how your system is performing, but also of how well it could perform. We provide analysis in several formats but can also use the data to model the impact that changes or improvements could make on your system, and on your annual energy costs.
The audit will include a series of recommendations, which might include items like:
- Repairs to your system: Leaks cost you money because you are losing compressed air, and can also affect air compressor performance, since large leaks can cause pressure loss.
- Pressure reduction: Sometimes compressors are over-specified, producing more pressure than needed. A simple reduction of pressure by one bar will cut energy costs by 7%.
- Installation changes: As factories change, things like pipework are often adapted. This can result in overly long pipes or bends that can impact efficiency. Changing to modular systems, like Atlas Copco’s AIRnet, can increase efficiency, as well as future-proofing your system.
- Energy recovery: Much of the energy used by a compressor gets lost as heat. Installing heat recovery systems in your compressor can usually recover at least 70% of your full energy consumption costs.
- Optimisation: We will make recommendations on how to use your equipment as effectively as possible by looking at things like compressed air usage patterns or system capacity, in any back-up compressors.
After the audit
Our work does not finish after the audit. We are, of course, the region’s compressed air specialists and are on hand to help you implement any of the audit recommendations. However, we can also validate the outcome of any actions you take after an air energy audit, whoever implements them, to ensure that you have received all the expected benefits.
Getting your system audited
We have been installing and servicing compressed air equipment and compressors for almost fifty years, so we know compressed air. During that time, we have helped business after business get the best out of their compressors, improve their processes and save money.
Our audits comply with ISO 11011, so you can trust them to be independent. But as a business, we are committed to working in partnership with our clients, so our recommendations will always be what is best for your organisation.
To arrange an audit of your system, just get in touch with Anglian Compressors, so we can help you get the most out of your compressed air.