Compressed air leaks are widespread in various practical applications across industries like mining, food processing, agriculture, etc. Not only are the leaks frequent, but are also time-consuming to detect and fix on a regular basis. A typical industrial plant which has not been well maintained is likely to have almost 20% leak rate with regard toits total compressed air production capacity. Proactive compressed air leak detection and repair, on the other hand, can reduce the leaks to 10%, or sometimes more.
Air leaks in your compressed air equipment could be taking a considerable amount of money from your pocket every year due to excessive energy losses. This has been well documented in several sources including:
“An air system with 200 hp of air compressor power typically has the equivalent of about 60 hp in leaks. At $.10 per kWh, this costs over $44,000/year in wasted electrical energy.” (Source: Efficient Plant).
Even a tiny leak could prove to be an extremely detrimental financial drain to your business. Looking past the damaging impact of air leaks on your energy expenses, there are many other reasons that make it essential to fix them. For instance, air leaks reduce the operating efficiency & cause severe productivity loss because of the inevitable drop in the system’s air pressure. This could further affect the equipment life as well as operation of the tools that depend on compressed air. Leaks not only reduce the longevity of an air compressor by putting a high demand on it; but also mean more frequent repair and maintenance expenses, which could be avoided if the system was functioning at its peak performance.
Leaks can also lead to additional cost, including a drop in system pressure, which means less productive performance concerning the overall production.
Finally, leaks can lead to adding unnecessary compressor capacity and the additional expense associated with that. All of this leads to the conclusion that leaks are indeed a significant source of costs.
Based on the above, the severity of the impact of system leaks is apparent.
A question remains, however, concerning where leaks are commonly found. The following list of potential leak sources sheds some light on where leaks in your system may exist:
1.Compressed air pipes and joints
2. Compressor hoses & couplings
3. Open valves not in use
4. Poorly sealed fittings
A significant challenge in leak detection is the fact that the vast majority of leaks cannot be heard, rendering them difficult to find.
Tracking down system leaks can be done most simply by applying soap and water to suspected leaks. More advanced methods of leak detection include the use of specialized leak detection equipment, the cost of which is readily justifiable when compared to the potential energy savings provided, or the hiring of specialists in leak detection.
The final step in leak detection is to identify and log leaks when they are found. The value in this is that it may shorten your leak detection efforts the next time around.
Establishing a regular maintenance routine to get ahead of leaks in your system is critical if you hope to keep energy costs from leaks in check.
As a starting point equipping and training your personnel with the appropriate leak detection equipment is a good first step in terms of preventative maintenance.
Once your maintenance personnel have been addressed the establishment of a regular schedule for your preventative maintenance activity should be established.
Finally, the establishment of a baseline leak rate for your system is vital to provide you with an indicator as to the degree of change regarding your leaks.
To establish the baseline leak rate, a measure should be taken with the system at full operational capacity. Shutting down the compressor and tracking how long the system takes to drop to a predetermined level establishes your baseline leak rate.
If you want to buy an industrial air compressor that can stand the test of time while saving you money in the long run, visit Seaway Fluid Power (SFP) today! We are a reliable name in compressed air systems, hydraulic systems, instrumentation, hoses and fittings, and steel fittings. At SFP, you can also find the most comprehensive range of air compressors for sale!
For more information about our range of products, get in touch with us today @ 1-877-302-6283 (toll-free).
Seaway Fluid Power (SFP), was established in 1976. Based in St. Catherines, Ontario, SFPG provides its customers with quality fluid power products and services. SFPG carries an extensive parts inventory of fluid power products such as hydraulics, pneumatics, hose and fittings, stainless steel fittings, instrumentation and compressed air.
"When there’s no time for downtime."