Modern compressed air installations are usually highly complex systems. They are only able to operate at the peak of their performance if this aspect is properly taken into account during all stages of system planning, expansion and modernisation. KAESER has developed a comprehensive service tool to aid these processes. It combines familiar elements such as compressed air components, customer consultation and advice with modern advances in compressed air engineering information technology.
Compressed air is used in more applications than one can possibly imagine. But, the common prerequisite for efficient use of compressed air is the reliable production and treatment of the air itself. The air system must be able to deliver the air cost-effectively in the specified quantity and at the required quality.
1. Consultation influences efficiency
An air system is cost effective only if it suits the application for which it is intended and fits the location and the conditions under which it operates. In other words: the compressors, air treatment equipment and pipe work must be correctly chosen, sized and controlled. Furthermore, there must be adequate ventilation and a means of dealing with accumulating condensate and, if possible, there should be a means of recovering the exhaust heat generated by the compressors. The “KAESER Energy Saving System” (KESS) covers all of these aspects and more as it comprises air demand analysis, planning, implementation, further training and exceptional customer service.
The deciding factors are the quality of the consultation and selection of the correct technology, since the greatest potential for cost savings with any compressed air system lies in efficient power consumption and minimal maintenance requirement rather than in the initial purchase price.
2. Air Demand Analysis
Detailed investigation into the user’s current and possible future compressed air requirements form the basis of every KESS analysis.
This computer-aided process, developed by KAESER and called ADA (Air Demand Analysis), has to take the specific circumstances of the application into account:
a) Designing a new air supply system
When planning a new compressed air supply system, the future operator is first given a special design questionnaire. A KAESER consultant can then interpret the provided information to determine what system equipment would be required in order to best meet the needs of the specific compressed air application. The questions cover every aspect of what comprises an efficient and environmentally-friendly compressed air supply system.
b) Expansion and modernisation
In contrast to new projects, expansion or modernisation programmes involving existing systems usually provide sufficient reference points for new application-tailored design solutions. KAESER provides measuring instruments and data loggers with which the air demand is precisely determined in various locations and at different times. It is particularly important to determine maximum and minimum as well as average values.
c) Testing the efficiency of an existing air system
It is recommended that the efficiency of an existing air system is checked from time to time with the help of a computer-aided analysis method that determines whether the compressors are (still) correctly loaded, whether the control systems are (still) correctly programmed and whether leakage rates are still within an acceptable tolerance range. ADA should also be used if compressors are to be replaced by new machines. This will avoid possible errors in capacity selection that may lead to inefficient duty cycles (partial load range) and will also assist in the selection of a suitable master control system.
d) Changes in operating conditions
It is well worth consulting a specialist when the conditions under which an air system operates change. Often simple changes to air treatment methods or pressure matching can be made to suit the new circumstances, achieving significant cost savings.