Compressed air continues to be a flexible and extremely important element of industry's production process. Compressed air represents over 10% of total industrial costs. The growing emphasis on environmental protection and awareness on saving energy are pushing research towards the improvement of air compressors' efficiency.
COST OF COMPRESSED AIR - THINGS TO CONSIDER!
It is a good idea to think beyond the initial cost of an air compressor when making an investment decision, as the real cost for compressed air is in the energy costs after the purchase.
During the first year, operating costs for compressed air can be 2 times the initial purchase price of the equipment. Efficiency of the compressor and the overall system efficiency are critical to making the right decision on the best suited compressor for your air requirements. This illustration shows the majority of compressed air cost is electrical; the good news with E.A.R.S. is that you can greatly reduce this energy cost! Savings can be in excess of 40%, depending on the usage.
Air compressors operate most efficiently at full load. Depending on your usage profile, it may be more cost effective to purchase multiple compressors to accommodate load variations. If you have widely varying compressed air loads, you should consider a receiver tank to boost capacity during peak periods. With a larger receiver tank, you can meet occasional peak demand with a smaller compressor and avoid high electrical demand charges.
Begin with capacity requirements and load factors for each tool and machine that will use compressed air. These compressed air requirements are generally available from the equipment manufacturers.
RULES OF THUMB:
Air compressors normally deliver 3 to 4 cfm per horsepower at 100 psig discharge pressure
An average 5 inch angle grinder will use between 8 and 33 cfm
The average air tool adaptor will flow around 16 cfm restricting most air tools from their proper performance; by using E.A.R.S.-style adaptors that flow 38 cfm allows the average air tool to run at its proper performance
Power cost for each 1 horsepower operating constantly for one year at 10 cents per kw/h is about $750.00
1 hp normally produces between 3 to 4 cfm depending on the machine; by using E.A.R.S, 1 hp will produce 5 to 6 cfm, depending on the application
Size air receivers for about 1 gallon capacity for each cfm of compressor capacity
(C) 2010 Michigan Pneumatic Tool, Inc and EARS North America