The Energy Efficiency Services (EES) division of Caps Australia has expanded its range of services and increased staff strength to meet the growing demand for compressed air energy audits.
Sustainability continues to be a major goal of business across most industry sectors. Despite the slowdown in some sectors of the economy, there is a continuing drive by industry to reduce energy costs. Apart from minimisation of energy consumption and waste of resources, companies must also comply with government reporting requirements and meet consumer demand to ensure that products are produced in a responsible manner.
According to Quentin St. Baker, Efficiency Manager at CAPS, there are still opportunities for companies to streamline processes to reduce energy consumption and costs resulting in the growth of energy efficiency services and air audits.
While compressed air is an important and major part of most manufacturing and industrial processes, many systems operate inefficiently with old technology or ineffective controls. Large volumes of air are wasted through leaks, inappropriate usage and other artificial demands such as over-pressurisation. Audits regularly show that less than half of the compressed air produced is used for actual productive activities.
The number of energy audits conducted by EES during the past 12 months has meant that the number of technicians and engineers has been increased by 20 per cent at CAPS to implement audits, and monitor and analyse the results.
Compressed air systems in Australia consume an estimated ten to fifteen per cent of all electricity used by industry. The purchase price of a compressor, combined with the total annual maintenance expenditure over its working life, can be less than one tenth of the cost of the energy to run it. Investing wisely in new equipment, and leveraging existing systems, will allow companies to begin saving energy more effectively.
Today, companies must measure and report their energy use and waste generation in order to meet the requirements of schemes such as the Federal Government’s Clean Technology Investment Programme (CTIP), and numerous other state and federal government based programs. It is therefore important to obtain relevant and experienced advice about reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions in order to meet reporting obligations.
Analysis of compressed air energy systems is a highly specialised activity with very few companies having the expertise and resources to conduct air audits of industrial processes. St Baker and his team have been working closely with engineering consulting companies to provide an effective service, enabling clients to rapidly achieve significant energy savings.
Making use of the audit expertise of a consultant to develop commercially viable and operationally feasible solutions will help companies achieve their goal.