BCAS has produced a 16-page white paper “Reducing Energy Consumption from Compressed Air Usage” for energy and plant managers responsible for the performance of a compressed air system.  It can be downloaded from www.bcas.org.uk

It provides an overview of how to save energy in a typical system, highlighting areas where waste occurs, steps to minimise it and then where to go for further information.

Says Marion Beaver, Technical Officer at BCAS: “Both energy and plant managers are busy people dealing with a wide range of different building services and processes.  It is unlikely that many will be experts in managing compressed air systems, so this white paper is a starting point that aims to provide an informative overview, rather than a detailed guide.”

The white paper points out that compressed air typically accounts for 10 per cent of an industrial company’s electricity bill and for some sectors it is far more.  It also urges end users to consider the whole system and points out that every element impacts upon its energy consumption.

Marion adds: “While the largest energy consuming component in the system is the air compressor; it is the demand by users, the overall design and how well the system is maintained that will determine the demand placed on the compressor and its energy consumption.”

The 16-page guide explores finding and fixing leaks, good housekeeping and staff involvement, pipework, control and maintenance, and advice on treating the compressed air.  It concludes by referring the reader to further sources of information.

Commenting in the foreword to the white paper, Lord Redesdale, Chief Executive of the Energy Managers Association wrote: “The EMA has a ratio for energy efficiency: 40 per cent is efficient kit, 20 per cent is control systems, and 40 per cent is behaviour change.  This report ticks all these boxes and will be a great tool for Energy Managers who are commissioning systems, maintaining the kit and training staff to use it properly.”

A copy of the white paper “Reducing Energy Consumption from Compressed Air Usage” can be downloaded from www.bcas.org.uk