By: Rolf Paeper, Vice President, Product Management
Compression Technologies and Services, Ingersoll Rand
Faced with increasing competition, high energy costs, increased regulation and more aggressive sustainability goals, facility owners and plant managers are under extraordinary pressure to reduce costs, while achieving greater productivity and energy efficiency. Most industries use some form of air or gas compression to generate power to run equipment, tools and plant processes. It is an extremely convenient source of power, often referred to as the fourth utility. Yet, in many cases it is deployed inefficiently. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates 30 to 50 percent of compressed air power is lost during operation. Those losses can be a result of leaks, poor maintenance, bad system design, wasted heat and/or pressure losses.
This is why industries are making commitments to increase energy efficiency. For example, nearly 160 leading manufacturers and industrial-scale organizations have partnered with the DOE on its Better Plant Initiative and signed a voluntary pledge to reduce their energy intensity by 25 percent over a ten-year period.