The culprit may be your compressed air system piping…
So, you regularly carry out maintenance on your air compressor and your tools & equipment are in good shape, but your energy costs keep rising and you have a hunch that something is amiss. The answer may be the compressed air distribution system.
No matter how well your air compressor runs, if the compressed air pipeline system distributing the air to the tools and equipment is not up to scratch, your air compressor will run harder and drive up energy costs. Here are 3 key points to look out for:
System Air Leaks
System leaks are common problems that are best avoided. While air leaks can appear in any part of the system, they frequently occur in pipe joints, quick connect couplings and deteriorated thread sealants. Leaks cause the air compressor to overwork. It not only affects your energy bill but also drives up maintenance costs.
Choosing the right design and type of compressed air delivery pipe system will help eliminate system leaks. Stainless steel and black pipe require threading to join the connections that will inevitably leak over time. Aluminium piping, like Pilot Air’s Quickline, on the other hand, uses polymer fittings to join the connection points. The polymer fittings align perfectly eliminating the need for threading, welding or gluing, and dramatically reducing the risk of leaks.
Air Pressure Reduction
Drops in air pressure within the compressed air system forces the air compressor to labour harder to supply air. Corrosion or obstructions within distribution piping is a major cause of loss of air pressure. Despite the fact that your system may have a moisture trap, wherever there is air, there is moisture to cause corrosion. When the inner surface of pipe is corroded, it restricts the airflow and results in decreased air pressure.
Example of corroded pipe.
When the air pressure drops in the compressed air system, air tools work under strain, making them less efficient, which in turn, accelerates wear and tear. Choosing Pilot Air’s Aluminium Quickline piping with its non-corrosive, smooth inner surface, over corrosive piping like black pipe will reduce the incidence of air pressure drops. Also avoiding copper that requires soldering of joints making it impossible to obtain a smooth inner surface will also help in keeping energy costs at bay.
Internal Pipe Size
Optimising the pipe diameter, length and number of bends within the system will ensure pressure drops are minimised. The velocity of air running through the pipes is largely dictated by the internal pipe diameter. Although external-piping diameters may appear the same, it’s important to take a close look at the internal free section. This diagram compares the internal diameter of standard plastic piping with Pilot Air’s Quickline Aluminium piping. The Aluminium piping offers a larger internal pipe size that allows greater air flow to distribute air efficiently when it’s demanded. More efficient air flow will reduce energy consumption.
Ensuring your compressed air system piping is up to the task of efficiently distributing air will go a long way to ensuring your system is operating at its optimal level. After all, every dollar saved on energy goes straight to the bottom line of your business.
Need some advice on your compressed air distribution system? Pilot Air’s team of experts is here to help. Call 1300 667 579, visit www.pilotair.com.au or email email@example.com
To find out more about Pilot Air’s Quickline Aluminium System click on this link