Pressured air is more efficient than ever before. Possible savings potential of 33%

The cost of energy is a determining factor for a business. 80-90% of costs for pressured air are energy costs. At rising prices, it is necessary to lower energy consumption. Therefore, finding savings potential in your pressured air facility is essential. For example, every excessive bar of pressure means 6-10% more energy.

Many facilities operate suboptimal due to inadequate maintenance, but also poor planning and wrong acquisitions. The most common deficiencies are undetected leakages that can lead to additional electricity costs of several thousand Euros per year. Energy consumption, hence energy costs, can be reduced by 5 to 50% (average 33%) with simple measures. The following table shows the savings potential for pressured air appliances. These were collected Europe-wide by the Frauenhofer Institute for systems technology and innovation research in 2001. The data is divided into new facilities, replacement investment and maintenance.

Table 1: Source: ISI (Frauenhofer Institute for systems technology and innovation research in Karlsruhe)Table 1 shows that besides mentioned leakages, improved motors, optimization of compressors, efficient superordinate controls, reduction of pressure losses and heat recovery are important factors in potential savings.
Table 2: (*) kW x 0.06 € x 8000 operating hours (source: Druckluft Effizienz, VDMA)Table 2 was published as part of the campaign “Pressured Air Efficiency” (Druckluft-effizienz), sponsored by BMWA 2001-2004. It shows the yearly additional costs of leakages at 6 and 12 bar at different hole diameters.

AGO Hydroair Facility and systems technology Ltd. offers a number of independent services regarding this issue. Our engineering team conducts examinations of your current situation and points out your savings potential.
We offer the following services regarding pressured air efficiency:

  • Performance-related examination of leakages in your pressured air network (ultrasound equipment)
  • Calculation of pressured air demand via a computer based, electronic measuring system
  • Analysis of pressured air quality (for example pressure dew point, oil concentration)
  • Optimized, demand-actuated construction of pressured air stations according to the situation
  • Economic replacement investments: Planning and delivery of high-quality pressured air technology: Compressors from Atlas Copco, Mark, Alup, Agre, Worthington Creyssensac and for low pressure range from Ing.Busch Ltd. Gardner Denver Elmo Rietschle, Brothers Becker
  • Oil-free pressured air of quality class 1 according to DIN 8573-1 as well as oil-free condensate through the use of oil-free compressors or according pressured air treatment.
Energy-savings measures % % %
applicability gains in efficiency over all potential
(1) (2) (3)
New facilities / replacement investment
Improved engines (highly efficient motors, HEM) 25% 2% 0.50%
Improved engines (variable-speed engines, ASD) 25% 15% 3.80%
Technical optimization of compressor 30% 7% 2.10%
Use of efficient superordinate controls 20% 12% 2.40%
Heat recovery for use in other appliances 20% 20% 4.00%
Improved pressured air conditioning (cooling, drying, filtering) 10% 5% 0.50%
over all construction (several compressors) 50% 9% 4.50%
Reduction of pressure losses in distributing system 50% 3% 1.50%
Optimization of pressured air devices 5% 40% 2.00%
Operation and maintenance
Reduction of losses through leakages 80% 20% 16.00%
Frequent replacement of filters 40% 2% 0.80%
Total: 32.90%
(1) Percentage of pressured air devices for which measures apply
(2) Percentage of energy savings over one year
(3) Savings potential = application x gains in efficiency
Hole ø Air losses Air losses Energy losses Energy losses Costs Costs
mm at 6 bar (l/s) at 12 bar (l/s) at 6 bar (kWh) at 12 bar (kWh) at 6 bar at 12 bar
1 1.2 1.8 0.3 1.0 144 € 480 €
3 11.1 20.8 3.1 12.7 1´488 € 6´096 €
5 30.9 58.5 8.3 33.7 3´984 € 16´176 €
10 123.8 235.2 33.0 132.0 15´840 € 63´360 €