Scope of Energy Saving in Pneumatics
Energy conservation is something we are hearing more and more of with each passing day. With rising energy costs and depleting energy resources, it has become imperative that all of us start taking steps to conserve energy very seriously. Some countries are not able to produce enough energy to meet our demand. The most economical way to counter energy shortage is to conserve energy. Energy conservation potential estimates are around 35-45%. Energy conservation in simple words means to get a similar output while reducing the input energy required.
Well, If we talk about the pneumatics industry we can follow a couple of simple steps to promote energy saving in the plant
Identify the potential areas for improvement – Internal studies conducted by SMC show that typical industrial units follow the following compressed air usage pattern – 10% for actuators, 20% lost as leakage and 70% for air blow applications as shown in the graph below. Energy savings can be done in all 3 areas, however, pneumatic applications and leakage losses are a major source of improvement.
Energy Saving Chart
Quantify the losses – Calculate the amount of money you are using for compressed air consumption and the amount you are losing directly to leakages.
Calculations will typically use these values:
8,760 hours of operation (24 hours/day x 365 days/year)
85% electrical motor efficiency (0.85)
4 CFM per BHP (Brake Horsepower)
$ 0.0139 per Kw hour (average USD estimate)
Annual Cost for compressed air generation = (BHP x 0.746 x Hours of Operation x Cost per kWh)/Motor Efficiency
For a 2000HP compressor… Annual Cost = (200 x 0.746 x 8760 x 0.0139)/0.85 = USD 21,373.16
Therefore, potential estimated savings by reducing air leakage by 50% = (21373.16 x 20%) x 50% = USD 2,137.31
Take measurements to control the air consumption of the plant. There are a few measures which you can take for efficient energy utilization in the plant.
Air pressure should be at the minimum required level
Pneumatic components should be sized as per the actual performance need
Prepare the compressed air in an appropriate way
Use energy efficient products wherever possible
When not in use, isolate the plant with the help of 2 port valves
Stop air blow when not needed
For better efficiency, use multi-stage ejectors with vacuum switches
Keep a check on air consumption in the plant
Minimize air leaks
SMC has come up with Energy Saving Solutions for various applications in Pneumatics. Some of the Energy Saving Solutions are:
Air Saving Valves
Air Saving Valves Series ASR/ASQ reduce the air consumption by operating return- stroke side of an air cylinder at a reduced pressure. Pressure regulation is done with the help of a Regulator with a backflow function. To know more about ASR/ASQ valves, Click Here
3/4/5 Port Solenoid Valves
The energy-saving model of SY series valves can reduce the power consumption by approximately 1/3 by reducing the wattage required to hold the valve in an energized state. Energy-saving valves Series SY with power-saving circuit consumes only 0.1W of power as compared to the conventional model which consumes 0.55W.
Low Power Consumption, High Flow Type Coolant Valves SGC Series reduce the coolant blow energy consumption by – 1. Reducing the pressure loss of the coolant which is done by making the effective area in the upstream side larger & attaching a nozzle; 2. Applying intermittent blow as the machine bed washing is topped when blowing for cutting or jig by means of a valve. The power consumption of these valves can be as low as 0.35 W (at 24 VDC). To request a SGC Series Valves demo, Click Here
For more insight on SMC Energy Saving program and products, download the catalog given below.