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Compressed Air Systems – Source of Energy with High Saving Potential

Compressed air is the most expensive energy source used in the industrial environment. Because of the high loss of energy (ca. 95% thermal discharge) that occurs in the production of compressed air, it is indispensable to examine and optimize industrial compressed air systems of all kinds regarding their adequate dimensioning to minimize the energy loss.

Several studies assume that there exists an average saving potential of about 33% [Ruppelt, E., Druckluft-Handbuch, 2003]. For Germany this equals a saving potential of 4.62 Billion kWh/p.a. respectively 235,620 tons of CO2.

To get use out of these saving potentials there are different technologies and optimization approaches on hand like heat recovery, intelligent compressor controls or leakage detection.
The u&i GmbH offers the opportunity to analyse the following subareas of air pressure systems based on different key performance indicators (KPI):

  • Generation
  • Processing
  • Distribution
  • Utilization

Based on the KPIs the different sections or the total system can be optimized adequately. In practical application saving potentials of up to 60% of the energy costs have been determined.

Besides the pure cost efficiency also the impact on the environment can be reduced.

By order of the Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH different measures have been implemented to reduce the environmental impact and to improve the energy efficiency.

After a laser-based measurement of the existing compressed air pipework system a concept to optimize and extend the system has been developed. As a result the pressure drop could be reduced by 35% in different sectors.

Furthermore the existing compressed air dryers have been replaced by modern CO2-dryers. The old dryers had been operated with the climate-damaging refrigerant R22 which has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 1810. Since CO2 can be seen as climate-neutral with a GWP of 1, the environmental impact of the compressed air production could be reduced significantly by using CO2-dryers.

Are you facing similar challenges? Would you like to implement energy efficiency potentials of your plant?

Please, don't hesitate to contact us.


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