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Save Energy, Avoid Unnecessary Pressure Drops

Did you know that pressure drops and leaks are the two largest areas of energy loss on your air compressors? It’s easy to understand why a leaking pipe or fittings creates energy loss. Pressure drops are not quite as noticeable, since you cannot hear them.

What are Pressure Drops?

According to Compressed Air Best Practices, “Pressure drop is a term used to characterize the reduction in air pressure from the compressor discharge to the actual point-of-use. Pressure drop occurs as the compressed air travels through the treatment and distribution system.”

Did you know that a small undersized filter would result in unneeded pressure drops in your system? Do not go for the cheap option because you will make up for that cost in energy consumption.

What causes Pressure Drops?

The 3 most common reasons for unexpected pressure drops in your Compressed Air System.

1. Leaks
2. Improper sizing or maintenance of your Filters
3. Piping configuration

How to Reduce Pressure Drops?

1. Unsure of your filter size? Go up a size. It will pay off in the long run.
2. Use OEM filters from your manufacturer. Also, most manufacturers publish pressure drop data- request it to ensure you understand the differences.
3. Undersized piping can cause pressure drops. Make sure your pipe is large enough to handle your flow.
4. Reduce the distance the air travels through the distribution system.
5. Check for leaks! Air leaks can will result in using more power than necessary to supply compressed air & contribute to the system’s air drops.
6. Increasing the size of your pipe, even from 2” to 3” ,can reduce pressure drop up to 50%. Shortening the distance that air has to travel can further reduce pressure drops by about 30%!

Did you know? Air leaks cause machines to cycle more frequently and by doing so can increase the running time of the air compressor. More running time leads to additional maintenance requirements and possible increased unscheduled downtime.

Remember, unnecessary pressure drops will result in poor system performance and excessive energy consumption. Any kind of flow restriction, whether it’s a leak, poor piping configuration or a filter will play a huge role in a system requiring higher operating pressures than are needed, resulting in higher energy consumption.