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Effective filtration specification and maintenance for saving energy

Author : Malcolm Crossley Parker Hannifin

26 November 2012

In line filters: minimize pressure drops
In any compressed air system one of the key factors in reducing energy demands is effective filtration. In line filters essentially protect system components from contaminants in the airline. This ensures optimum machine uptime due to less frequent breakdowns.  However with filtration there are factors that need to be considered to ensure energy efficiency

Specify the right size filter:
When specifying filter units ensure that the right size for the job is selected.  If the filter unit utilised is too small for the airflow required then the pressure drop would be greater thus energy costs will be higher!
Specify the right level of filter:
Examine your application, what level of filtration do your system components require? Install a filter that matches those specification requirements.  Don’t install filters that are too fine, as these will restrict the airflow yet again causing the system to be energy inefficient.
Proactively maintain filters:
Whilst performing the job that they are intended to do, filter elements will become clogged with contaminants - this means pressure loss.  In too many situations operators simply turn up the pressure via a regulator.  However this is a wasteful use of energy.  Pressure drop indicators can be fitted and the drop can be measured and filter elements changed accordingly.  Alternatively maintenance departments can adopt industry best practice.  This best practice calls for elements to be changed every 12 months as part of planned maintenance and this alone will save significant energy cost.

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