London Compressed Air is now offering Ultrasonic Leak Detection to our customers.
“One of the most common problems is leaks,” says Wayne Perry, technical director, Kaeser Compressors. “Studies indicate that as much as 35% of the compressed air produced in the market today is wasted to leaks, and everyone has leaks.” Identifying and correcting them may save not only the purchase price of a compressor, but reduce the amount of energy needed to run the compressor.
“It has been our experience that plants which have no formal, monitored, disciplined, compressed air leak-management program will have a cumulative leak level equal to 30% to 50% of the total air demand,” adds Henry van Ormer, engineer and owner of Air Power USA. Every 8 cfm to 12 cfm leak can cost you $800 to $1,200 per year.
Van Ormer suggests setting up a short-term leak inspection program so that every sector of the plant is inspected once each quarter to identify and repair leaks. “Inspections should be conducted with a high-quality ultrasonic leak locator during production and nonproduction, he recommends. “A record should be kept of all findings, corrective measures and overall results.”
Afterward, he suggests setting up programs to monitor the air flow to each department and making each department responsible for identifying its air usage as a measurable part of the expense for that area.
If you get rid of leaks, you might cause other problems. “Elimination of waste, such as leakage and artificial demand, may result in reduced loading on compressors that are not equipped to turn down efficiently,” says Mike Bakalyar, manager, enhanced services, Gardner Denver. Dynamic efficiency may actually degrade, resulting in very little positive effect on energy usage (Table 1). Waste has been reduced, but the cost recovery shifts to compressor controls.