Ask the Expert: How do I evaluate my shop's energy usage, and why does it matter?

Two major factors of a compressor’s power consumption are air leaks and pressure drops, which waste energy.

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Question: How do I understand how to evaluate my shop’s energy usage, and why does this matter?

Answer: 

Two major factors of a compressor’s power consumption are air leaks and pressure drops, which waste energy. Common causes of air leaks include fittings, hoses, and poorly maintained equipment.

To mitigate air leaks, shops can: 

  • Invest in more efficient equipment and higher quality fittings. Consistent use of equipment such as tire machines or air pumps inevitably results in wear on seals and diaphragms, which increase air leaks. Air fittings such as quick connects wear out and leak air over time as well.
  • Install high-quality piping. Low-cost piping materials use threaded connections, which slowly leak air over time. As technicians use the system, the quantity of the leak increases and the fittings need to be repaired or replaced. Ingersoll Rand's SimplAir piping eliminates threaded connections with o-ring seals which helps to prevent leaking.

To minimize pressure drops, shops can: 

  • Properly size piping and air distribution systems to provide proper pressure to the point of use. To reduce installation costs, shops may opt for a smaller pipe size or a less-expensive pipe material. Incorrectly-sized or cheap pipes can corrode in the presence of moisture. The corrosion will build up over time and cause an airflow restriction. Ingersoll Rand's SimplAir piping is designed to be corrosion-free. Made from extruded aluminum, it has a smooth finish which helps eliminate pressure drop as much as possible and results in all of the available power of the compressed air to stay at the point of use consistently.

Data is necessary to determine a shop’s energy costs, as compressor usage and energy costs are directly related. Shops can calculate energy costs manually or with a program like Ingersoll Rand Performance Services.  

Information provided by Ingersoll Rand 


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