System Air Studies

System Air Studies

Cullum and Brown has been designing, installing, and servicing compressed air systems for over 35 years in Kansas and Missouri. Over the many years in the compressed air business, we have found that many facilities are operating their compressed air systems inefficiently, costing them extra money on energy, as well as maintenance.

Why perform an air audit? Compressed air is one of the most expensive utilities for a manufacturing plant. The annual energy cost to operate a compressed air system is usually tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands for many facilities. Compressed air is also, in many cases, required to keep the facility operating, which makes it necessary to have a reliable system that can produce high quality air. By performing a compressed air audit, the existing system efficiency and reliability can be determined. The system can then be re-evaluated to determine what changes need to be made to meet compressed air best practices and provide optimum performance. This can include the use of more efficient compressors, the installation of a compressor control system, additional storage, piping changes, the use of no-loss condensate drains, and improvements in the air treatment equipment.

What does the audit consist of? The only way to determine the efficiency of a system is to measure the operating conditions. This is accomplished by data logging the key operating parameters of the system during a 7-day period. Typically this includes measurement of flow (CFM), power (kW), pressure (psig), and pressure dewpoint (deg. F). The instruments used for collecting the data are installed by our technician without disrupting the operation of the system.

Once the data is collected, the operating conditions of the system are analyzed to determine the efficiency of the system and annual energy costs. This information is then used to model the system with the modifications required to meet the recommended efficiency level, and also provide reliability. The system model provided in the audit report will show the improved annual energy costs as well as the ROI of the improvements.

In several locations there are rebate programs available through the local utility company which will provide funding for compressed air system projects that reduce energy consumption. Cullum& Brown is currently certified with KCP & L to provide compressed air audits, and we will provide assistance to the customers for the application process. Several of our customers have already benefited from such programs.

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