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mated that 67% of the compressed air generated by the compressors was consumed with filling leaks during the year. This has a profound impact on the cost of running this equipment.


It should be noted that due to the complexity of


compressed air systems and the details of the compres- sor’s electrical controller, there is not always a precise proportional energy savings between eliminating leaks and energy costs. If you start with a system that has 40% of the compressor’s capacity used to fill leaks, you may not see a 40% savings in electricity use if all leaks could be eliminated; you may only see a 30% savings, but significant savings nonetheless. It should also be noted it is extremely difficult to remove all leaks in a real-world, operating foundry. Achieving only 10% compressed air lost to leaks is a great goal.


Simplified Cost Savings Estimates To make the calculations simple, we will make as-


sumptions that will result in approximate values for costs and savings. Assuming the 250 hp compressor requires about 0.7kW for each hp, and the air compressor is op- erating at about 65% of its capacity. It needs about 2,730 kWh/day to operate. We also estimated this compressor runs about 340 days per year. Therefore, the compressor will consume about 928,200 kWh/year. At an overall electricity rate of $0.075/kWh, the total


electricity costs for one year of operation is $69,615 per year. If 67% of these costs are wasted on filling the leaks in the foundry, then up to $46,640 is wasted on electricity to fill the static air leaks. If the compressor operates at higher set-point air pres-


sure levels then the test range between 90 psig and 100 psig, then the leak rate and the associated costs will be significantly higher. In this scenario we estimated that it is costing about $46,500 per year to fill the leaks. Fixing the leaks would effectively reduce your expenses and improve profits every year thereafter. Unfortunately, air leaks are a major component of any


air system. The good news is that regular maintenance can keep this cost down. Implement a regular program to find and repair leaks. Initially focus on repairing the larg- est leaks and as resources permit repair medium and small leaks. Track your progress by using the pressure drop test outlined in this article. Leaks are a constant battle but worth it in cost savings.


The authors of this column can be contacted at: Dr. James ( Jamie) Wiczer (jwiczer@sensorsynergy.com); Robert Eppich (eppichtech@earthlink.com); Cindy Belt (belt.cindy@yahoo.com); Brian Reinke (breinke@tdi-energysolutions.com).


FIND ONLINE


The details of the calculation in this column are somewhat lengthy to include in this article, but can be found at www.moderncasting.com/fi x-the-leaks.


www.humtown.com 330.482.5555 July 2018 MODERN CASTING | 45


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