How to Make Your Air Compressor More Efficient

Friday, September 6, 2019

Compressed air is used across many industries and sectors for manufacturing, for Automation, powering Air tools, and cleaning.

How to Make Your Air Compressor More Efficient

In the Asia-Pacific region, the air compressor market is expected to reach US$23.3 billion by 2023. But with so many people using compressed air technology, very few are currently getting the best out of their air compressors, operating with improved efficiency. BOGE air compressors are renowned for their innovation, performance, and competitive price point, but even with our products there are ways you can make your air compressor more efficient on site. In this article, BOGE Singapore is delighted to help its customers improve the efficiency of their air compressors with a few important tips.


What Makes an Air Compressor More Efficient?

There are many different types of air compressor such as screw, piston, scroll, and BOGE's cutting edge Turbo designs. Regardless of which model you have installed, however, there are similar steps you can take to increase the efficiency of your system.


The three most important steps to increasing air compressor efficiency are:


  • Ensuring high quality air intake
  • Improving general system design
  • Installing the correct equipment


Let's now look at each of these in more detail.


Air Intake Quality

In order to compress air, each compressor must have good flow of ambient air. By pulling air through a filtration media and the air intake controller, an air compressor then compresses this air to reach the required pressure and FAD. To ensure that your air compressor has the correct amount of air available to do the job, the following needs to be checked:


  • Blockages: Study, your compressor operator’s manual you should be able to see where the air intake is placed on your specific air compressor. This must not be placed against a wall or against a solid object. If not, it will limit the amount of air available to your system, and can even cause damage or low suction air to compressor.
  • Cooling Air Flow: ensure that your cooling air flow to the compressor is not restricted, and it gets clean and cool stream of airflow all day as per the specific requirement of the compressor installed.  The cooling air flow suction side of the compressor must not be too close to a wall, or restricted. if it is too close or restricted the compressed air will operate at high operating temperature reducing its compression capability (FAD) . Ensure that there is adequate ventilation and space for air to flow freely around the compressor.
  • Room Temperature: If possible, try to place your air compressor in an environment with cooler air. When air is warmer, the molecules in cubic meter (m3) of ambient are spread out making the air lower in density which reduces the capability of compression. Cooler air takes less time to compress because the molecules are closer together.
  • Pollutants: Cleaner air will travel through an air compressor and its filtration efficiently. If the air is contaminated, it will block the suction filters faster and lead to create higher pressure loss across the filter media, That will restrict airflow through the system. Pollutants can also cause wear and tear, especially if the air contains dust and other abrasive particles. High dust Filters can help with this, but if possible, try to place your air compressor in a cleaner environment as possible.
  •  Moisture: Humidity can be destructive, and as air is compressed and pushed through the system, this can increase the amount of moisture accumulating in and around compressor parts. Some compressors are built to withstand this by operating outside and in humid environments. However, you will increase efficiency if you reduce moisture exposure as much as possible, along with removing accumulations of moisture when detected.


Improving General System Design

Your air compressor does not work in isolation. It is attached to other equipment, piping or tubing. By improving the general design and setup of your system, you can markedly improve the efficiency of your compressed air system.


Try the following:


  • Air Receiver Tank: Efficiency is all about energy preservation. One of the ways you can reduce energy consumption is by fitting either a properly sized storage tank or a receiver unit. This will assist with issues such as pressure drops, high loading cycles of compressor and will help your system cope with short-term increased air demand without requiring significantly more power.
  • Preventive maintenance: it is very important to keep in mind that the preventive maintenance of your compressors and equipment helps to maintain the efficiency as when you bought your equipment new. the research results clearly proves, that the compressed air systems that don’t follow maintenance schedules loose significant amount of energy during operation and long down time due to unexpected break downs etc. To keep the compressors at its best performance regular preventive maintenance must be performed.
  • Air leakage and downstream filtration: Most Compressor installations are selected properly but over the years some accessories fails and are not replaced to save little cost, resulting bigger losses, many of the Zero loss Auto drains are removed and air valves are kept open to leak for condensate to drain. Air Leakages means thousands of dollars are draining out from leaks annually. Also when the filter elements are not replaced annually resulting high differential pressure or making polluted compressed air to damage downstream production equipment to lose its efficiency. Small accessories are also need to be maintained properly to save costs annually. 
  • Heat Preservation: Speaking of energy conservation, one of the key ways air compressors lose energy efficiency is through heat production. When components are moving, heat is produced and energy is lost through friction. Heat can also be transported into the compressed air generated, further increasing energy loss. We have mentioned positioning your air compressor in a cooler environment, but waste heat recovery is also an option. A heat recovery unit can help to capture some of this heat production which can then be used to power other equipment on site, reducing power outlay.
  • Efficient Line Design: If your system has many twists and turns on it, try to straighten the path between the air compressor and the compressed air destination. To push compressed air through a system requires energy. Due to drag, friction, and pressure changes, it is more difficult to transport compressed air when the piping or tubing has turns in it. Change your design to reduce sharp bends and this will increase efficiency.
  • Minimizing Pressure Drop: Pressure drops can happen when air leaks out via tubing or piping. This causes significantly reduced performance. In order to rectify this, it is important to evaluate all the components of your system to ensure that they are all capable of handling the pressure you require. This includes the compressor itself, regulators, lubricators, tubing, and all connectors. Regular maintenance should identify any leaks in the system, and should be combined with reducing the distance the compressed air has to travel through the system.


How BOGE Can Increase Your Air Compressor's Efficiency

BOGE Kompressoren has built a 111 year reputation for developing innovative air compressor technologies. With German engineering excellence at its heart, BOGE continues to design and produce air compressors built from the ground up with efficiency in mind.


BOGE Singapore is proud to assist its existing and potential customers with expert suggestions for increasing efficiency. This includes incorporating BOGE's automated controller systems which can be retrofitted to existing compressors. BOGE controllers use sophisticated Artificial Intelligence to oversee compressor performance to ensure that each compressor is performing to the peak of its abilities.


If you would like to know more about BOGE Singapore's current and future product line to help your air compressors reach their potential, contact one of our trained experts today.