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Optimising a compressed air system with a centralised controller

07 October 2019

Central controllers are the backbone of an optimised compressor installation, managing the whole compressor room, matching the air supply to demand while offering pressure stability, and contributing significantly to energy efficiency. It is a proven fact that a 1bar pressure band reduction can achieve as much as 7 percent in direct energy cost savings.

The first steps in optimisation

To take full advantage of optimisation benefits, it is necessary to look beyond individual machines and consider the compressor installation as a whole. It is essential to be prepared by establishing demand patterns, detecting and rectifying weak points such as air leaks in the supply system, and defining potential areas for improvement. 

Few air systems operate at full load all the time. Part-load performance is therefore critical and is primarily influenced by the compressor type, the air demand profile, and the control strategy. 

A simple control system may be appropriate to a facility with a single compressor and a very steady air demand. However, a more complex system with multiple compressors and dryers, varying demand, and many types of end users, will require a more sophisticated strategy of compressor control since this function is the important factor affecting system performance and efficiency.

Read the full article in the October issue of DPA.

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