In the compressed air world, there are quite a number of energy savings features available to be installed on air compressors and air dryers. Often, these cost a premium to buy — but will very quickly pay for the added cost through reduced electricity bills.
A recycling facility purchased an energy efficient heated blower style desiccant air dryer (Fig. 1) to condition the compressed air at site. The unit had the potential to save significant compressed air costs by delaying the onboard heater cycles and reducing the dryer cooling purge by using a dew point controller. But miscommunication left the dryer energy saving feature turned off.
The supplier was never told to turn on the dew point control, so they didn’t. This left the dryer consuming about $12,000 in electricity per year, in addition to a 2% cooling purge. The dryer ran constantly on a four-hour cycle, even though the plant was only in production 12 hours per day, five days per week — and the dryer was not fully loaded.
During a system assessment by a compressed air auditor, this missing control function was noticed and the dew point controller turned on. The result was the reduction in electrical cost of 76%, saving about $9,000 per year. Not bad for a simple flick of a switch! What functions are inactive in your system?