Compressed air systems are great players in various companies. They are often an unavoidable business expense; air leaks could be draining more money from your purse each year in the form of excessive energy losses. Compressed air is often regarded among the most expensive and indispensable utilities in many industries, so even a tiny leak can be a financial drain on your company; UK businesses lose up to an estimated £100m a year on air leaks.
In the triumvirate of utilities, a quiet air compressor is often considered the fourth due to its widespread use, cleanliness, and ease of use. It could easily pass as the most expensive utility in your factory.
Why You Should Fix Your Leaks
Air leaks increase the annual energy costs, reduce operational performance, and cause productivity loss due to the system’s eventual drop in air pressure. Leaks might lead to shorter equipment life and inefficient operation of your low noise compressors as they will have to do more to accomplish less.
“An air system with 200 hp of air compressor power typically has the equivalent of about 60 hp in leaks. At $.10 per kWh, this costs over $44,000/year in wasted electrical energy.” (Source: Efficient Plant).
The following are some of the reasons why you should patch compressed air leaks:
Lower Productivity Due to Inefficient Tools
Air pressure drops caused by leaks can significantly affect your ultra-silent air compressor’s productivity by causing essential components to work inefficiently and create an inherently less productive setting.
Increased Maintenance Costs
Air leaks not only shorten the life of your compressor by putting more strain on the machine, but they also mean more frequent repairs and maintenance costs than if the compressor was performing at its best.
If your system is subjected to excessive demands and maintenance is required. As a result, you could face downtime, which can severely impede productivity — and income.
Shortened Equipment Lifespan
Compressors must run more quickly due to the increased demand for airpower caused by leaks, which will shorten the lifetime of your quiet air compressor device. It may be a costly expenditure that can be avoided by doing scheduled repairs and inspections to detect and patch leaks.
How to Detect Leaks
Because air leaks are nearly impossible to detect, other methods must be used. An ultrasonic acoustic detector, which can detect the high-frequency hissing sounds associated with air leaks, is the best way to detect leaks. To detect leaks, these portable units have directional microphones, amplifiers, and audio filters, as well as visual indicators or earphones.
Ultrasonic leak detection is the most robust form of leak detection available. It can be easily applied to a range of leak detection scenarios due to its capabilities. The theory of ultrasonic leak detection is straightforward. When a friction or vacuum leak occurs, the flow transitions from high pressure laminar to low-pressure turbulence. The turbulence produces white noise, which has a wide range of frequencies from audible to inaudible.
The ultrasonic elements in the noise are targeted by an ultrasonic sensor. The sound frequency would be loudest at the leak site because ultrasound is a short wave signal. Since background noise in the audible range is filtered out, ultrasonic detectors are usually unaffected. This means that even in the noisiest conditions, leaks can be heard.
Ultrasonic leak detection has a number of benefits, including versatility, speed, ease of use, the ability to conduct checks while the equipment is working, and the ability to detect a wide range of leaks. They take very little experience, and operators will sometimes become proficient with just 15 minutes of instruction.
Ultrasound is directional in transmission due to its composition. As a result, the signal is strongest at its source. It is possible to easily pinpoint the location of a leak site by searching through a research area in general. As a result, ultrasonic leak detection is not only fast but also precise.
How Will Future Compressed Air Leakage Be Reduced?
- Reduce the system’s air pressure; this is beneficial since the flow rate drops as the system pressure drops. Since the pressure difference over a leak is smaller, less airs escape the line.
- When leaks are fixed, examine the compressor control system again and make any further adjustments. This measure ensures that energy conservation is maximized.
- Through a valve in the distribution system, isolate all non-operational machinery.
- Upgrading to higher-quality components will help prevent potential air leakage and other maintenance issues.
- Check for high-quality fittings, disconnects, hoses, and tubing.
Some Cost-Effective Energy-Saving Strategies
When it comes to maintaining the compressed air device, nothing beats leak repair and protection for energy efficiency, and some of the better options cost next to nothing, they include;
- Changing the filters
- Reducing the pressure
- Performing routine maintenance and leak prevention
- Shutting down the system when it’s not needed
- Checking for abandoned equipment