COMPRESSED AIR OPTIMIZATION: SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Air Optimization Using Supply and Demand Teamwork
Utilizing the strengths of each individual part to make the whole stronger
Both supply side and demand side control are vastly important parts of operating an efficient air compression system, but they don’t operate independently of each other. Each side relies on the other to deliver its part in air compression, and too often, one side remains underutilized, resulting in preventable inefficiency. No matter the size of the system, supply and demand sides working in conjunction can drastically improve the efficiency, longevity, and output of the compression system.
The Demand Side
When an increase in efficiency is needed, a big mistake that is commonly made is assigning all of the importance to supply side and disregarding the demand side. In reality, with a few small changes, the demand side can require far less energy than is typically expected, leading to reduction in necessary air supply while increasing efficiency.
Much of this waste can be corrected in the demand side through use of both timer and demand drains, as improper draining can lead to condensate buildup which causes a number of problems and inefficiencies. Both of these options use far less energy than a compression system that is constantly full to the brim with condensate.
Another underestimated problem in demand side control is leakage. Leaks in the demand side are often less detectable than in the supply side, in which a leak is visible due to visible loss of pressure. Repairing leaks in the demand side is a simple, cost-effective way of improving efficiency.
Perhaps most importantly, one of the most common problems seen in most air compression demand sides is artificial demand. Artificial demand is the result of supplying higher line pressure than necessary for the application, and includes inappropriate production use, open blowing, and leaks. Artificial demand is risky because it increases alongside real demand, so as real output rises, so does inefficiency.
The Supply Side
A healthy supply side plays a major role in running an efficient compression system, as the supply side does most of the heavy lifting. The supply side includes such components as air filters, air dryers, even the compressors themselves, and is every bit as important as it sounds. Where demand side problems can slowly and quietly steal efficiency, supply side problems are much more obvious and often much more costly. Fortunately, air compression systems, when built well, are built to last.
Major problems with the supply side usually only occur when the components are mistreated or poorly calibrated. That being said, small improvements can always be made that can end of saving a great of energy. With so many moving parts, ensuring that they all work together is a worthwhile pursuit that will end up saving you time, money, and energy.
What We Can Do For You
One of our greatest strengths at Airtec is our ability to bring efficiency to compression systems of all shapes and sizes for any application. Just one way we can do this is by working to ensure that the supply side and the demand side don’t simply work well, but that they work well together. In doing this, we can help you increase your compressed air efficiency far beyond what you thought possible.
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