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How to fix the compressed air leaks for sustainable energy savings

Contact our Energy Managers

Stop Blowing money away

July 13, 2020

In one of our blogs, we have shared the guidelines to quantify the compressed air leakages in your plant by a simple process called the No-Load test. This test will help you to realize the potential energy saving that you could get through leak repair in your plant. The No-Load test will give you the value of leaks in the respective compressed air networks. For more details on the no-load test, read our previous blog - How to earn thousands of rupees from the compressed air in your plant.

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough we must do.

Bruce Lee , American actor and martial artist
Source : Internet

Therefore, in this blog, we will share some best practices on how can you fix those leaks quantified by the No-load test and convert the quantifiable value into sustainable energy savings. Additionally, you will save more with lower energy consumption by optimizing your air compressor.

The leak quantification will help you to formulate a strategy to take a sustainable action on the compressed air leaks. It will also help you to prioritize the actions on the leaks based on the locations and repair them effectively in your compressor room.

What is the acceptable leak percentage in my compressed air system?

Theoretically, there should be 0% compressed air leakages in your manufacturing plant. But as there are many limitations and it is not possible to eliminate 100% leakages from the compressed air site. So, efforts are made to have the lowest percentage of leaks in the plant. As a thumb rule, the energy experts always recommend having compressed air leakages less than 5% in your manufacturing plant.

What is to be done if leaks are more than 5%?

If your quantified air leaks are between 5% & 10% then you are advised to perform a leak detection test with an air audit expert. They will guide you to do effective repairing of recurring leaks in your compressed air piping.

If your quantified leaks are more than 10% then it should be fixed on high priority as they are draining your money.

Here again, the recommendation is to take the help of energy auditors which will audit your compressed air system and provide you the right solution to the issues.

However, if you have budget and time constraints, you may try the following ways to address the compressor air leaks in-house for sustainable energy savings.

  • Make leak repair programs and involve every individual who is using compressed air in the plant
  • Make people aware of the cost of leaks.

As per our energy managers, a 1 mm hole can lead to leakage of 3 cfm which may cost you approximately INR 22000 in a year.

Out of many best practices, one is companies observe "compressed air leak week" once in a year in their plant and invest 1 hour each day for 7 days to identify and repair the leaks. These activities will not only help to repair and reduce leaks but this type of engagement will convert into a commitment to energy savings in the plant.

But as you know home remedies can help to cure mild diseases. For severe syndrome, it is always recommended to consult with your family doctor. Likewise, in-house solutions are doable in small and easy to fix leakages with short term results. The kind of expertise you will get with experts will give you long term energy savings.

Why you need an air audit expert to repair the simple air leaks?

Leaks are simple to attend till the time it is visible and you can fix them by yourself. It is easy to detect and repair the leak of liquids compared to gases, especially in the factory environment where there is a lot of noise, and with compressed air, it is even more challenging in the running plant.

Further, it is not possible to shut down the plant every time for the leak detection test.

Therefore, it is recommended to call an air audit expert, who has precise advanced tools for leak detection like acoustic sound image which helps to detect the air leak with leak value and location very precisely. The root cause analysis of the leaks will help in repairing them permanently without shutting down the network with the latest technologies.

The other benefits of conducting compressed air audit under expert guidance are:

  1. Clear report - which can be also be used as a guide to compressed air audits.
  2. Energy consultants provide independent advice tailored to your need based on the insights and innovations in air compression technology.
  3. Sophisticated requirements like an ultrasonic lead detector, photochromatic leak detector allows interrupted work at your plant.
  4. You can rely on compressed air audit experts for effective and sustainable energy-efficient solutions.
Recently, our energy managers have conducted a webinar on energy-saving solutions in the compressed air system and shared various tips and techniques to achieve sustainable energy savings. You may watch the recording of this webinar here

Contact us to know more about leak detection & repair techniques in non-intrusive method!