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2019-10-17 | Reading time: 1 min 27 s

Reduce operating costs with a VSD Compressor

Compressed air systems are critical to a number of functions within a manufacturing facility. But poorly designed and maintained compressed air systems, by some estimates, account for up to $3.2 billion in wasted utility payments in the United States every year. One quick and easy way to ensure your facility isn't squandering energy in its compressed air production process is to consider the benefits that can be provided by operating the compressed air system at constant pressure.

While many plants require continuous, round-the-clock operations seven days a week, there are likely cycles where lulls in production present opportunities for energy savings. For example, there are 168 hours in a week and most compressed air systems only require anything near full capacity between 60 and 100 hours, or about half the time. When an air compressor runs at 100 percent to accommodate demand that represents only 50 percent of the compressor's maximum output, then half of the energy required to power that compressor is immediately wasted. Variable speed drive air compressors continually and automatically vary the production and output of compressed air to meet fluctuating power requirements.

Statistics compiled through compressed air system assessments and performance analysis show that many air compressor applications are ideal for VSD. Compared to a fixed drive compressor, a properly sized VSD compressor can be operated for significant less power.

Look at one case where a manufacturer was running a 200 horsepower air compressor 24 hours a day at 3 cents per kWh. These energy costs have doubled in the last five years, increasing in some areas to 8 cents per kWh or more. The annual cost to operate that compressor at 3 cents per kWh was $41,273. Today, at 8 cents per kWh, that same compressor costs $110,062 to operate every year, or more than $550,000 over five years. Staying with this example, switching to a VSD compressor could potentially save this facility $38,521 annually or $192,608 over five years.

To learn more about ways to reduce your operating costs and our VSD compressors, contact our team of experts.


Source: Compressed Air & Gas Institute

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