A phone call was received from a corporate energy manager. He reported in a frustrated tone that he was monitoring power consumption of all his compressors and dryers and had noticed a problem. He could see on his monitoring system an air dryer connected to a compressor permanently removed from service was still running!
When he asked the local staff to turn off the dryer, they replied they couldn’t, because they were concerned it might cause wet air. Weeks went by before action was taken. (We are guessing the staff member has had trouble when he turned things off in the past.)
Sometimes staff do not apply common sense when it comes to air dryers. Very often during energy audits, the assessors will come across air dryers that are running for no apparent reason. Some aren’t even connected to compressors anymore. Others are drying nothing, or drying air that has already been dried.
It is good practice to review your system dryers and to ensure they are doing a proper job and are not wasting energy. It is excellent practice to monitor your compressed air system with permanent monitors so you can spot trouble. Some tips:
- Ensure dryers do not remain on when the associated compressor is removed from service.
- When replacing refrigerated dryers consider thermal mass or cycling styles that turn themselves off.
- Ensure desiccant dryers have dew point controls, and they are active and working.