While air compressors are rated by manufactures, it’s useful to know how this reflects on your complete functioning system.
The data recorded gets analysed to show whether any cost savings can be achieved. But how else can you use data loggers?
1. Establish a baseline
One of the most important steps of managing a compressed air system is to develop a baseline. This acts as a point of reference to make comparisons from.
The relevant units of measurement are:
- kilowatts (kW), which is the raw amount of power being consumed
- kilowatt hours (kWh), which is a standard unit for understanding energy consumption.
Understanding the kWh usage of your system is important as this is what energy companies base billing on. You’ll also want to establish how many kilowatts of power are required to for the compressed air necessary to power your operations.
If your system is not performing like the manufacturer’s specification, there is most likely a problem.
Minor deviations from your baseline may also help highlight opportunities for change. For example, during weekend reduced production.
2. Troubleshoot problems
Data loggers are useful for troubleshooting, particularly after a system problem has occurred. It is easy to review the data sets to determine what was happening at the exact time of the problem.
3. Ensure pressure stability
Conditions within a compressed air system vary often, but data logging can check pressure stability. It is difficult to monitor system pressure manually but using data loggers allows the data to get recorded and analysed. And when using multiple parameters, such as flow and compressor power, it can be possible to identify the response of the compressor to pressure change, or the response of pressure to compressor changes.
4. Sizing equipment
Before undertaking replacement projects or updating equipment, consider installing data loggers to help size compressors and associated equipment. If you’re working from the existing system’s specification it may not be correctly sized. This makes it difficult to assess whether a smaller or larger system is required. Data loggers provide a snapshot of system operation to avoid inaccurate assumptions and (expensive) incorrect sizing decisions.
5. Verify savings
Remember what we said about ‘potential savings’ not being good enough? Data loggers are necessary to prove predicted savings get achieved. Especially following capital investment for energy projects.
If energy efficiency and total control of your compressed air system is important, don’t take it for granted! Data logging ensures your system is operating at its required performance. It can also open your eyes to money saving opportunities.
For example, Direct Air logged a tool manufacturer for 2 weeks and were able to achieve savings of £30,000 per annum. Where would you invest that extra £30K?