Compressed air system piping driving up energy costs

Air compressor equipment needs to be regularly maintained and kept in
good condition to ensure reliable performance and energy efficiency. However,
if your energy bills continue to rise, the problem may not be with your
equipment but your compressed air distribution system.

Regardless of how well the air compressor performs, if the compressed
air pipeline system distributing the air to the tools has a leak or is corroded
causing air pressure to drop, the compressed air equipment will run harder to
compensate, driving up energy costs.

What you should look out for:

System air leaks

System air leaks are common but avoidable problems that typically occur in
pipe joints, quick connect couplings and deteriorated thread sealants. Leaks
cause the air compressor to overwork, driving up the energy bill as well as maintenance
costs.

One way to avoid system leaks is to choose the right design and type of
compressed air delivery pipe system. Stainless steel and black pipes require
threading to join the connections, resulting in leaks over time. Aluminium
piping such as Quickline from Pilot Air uses polymer fittings to join the
connections, eliminating the need for threading, welding or gluing, and
dramatically reducing the risk of leaks.

Air pressure reduction

When air pressure drops in a compressed air system, it has to work
harder to supply air. Air pressure loss may occur due to corrosion or
obstructions within the distribution piping. Wherever there is air, there is
moisture, leading to corrosion. When the inner surface of the pipe is corroded,
airflow is restricted, resulting in decreased air pressure.

Air pressure drops in the compressed air system cause the air tools to work
under strain, reducing efficiency and accelerating wear and tear.

Pilot Air’s Quickline aluminium piping has a non-corrosive, smooth inner
surface, reducing the incidence of air pressure drops.

Internal pipe size

When designing the compressed air system, it’s important to optimise the
pipe diameter, length and number of bends within the system to minimise air pressure
drops. Internal pipe diameter determines the velocity of air running through
the pipes. While external piping diameters may appear the same, the internal
free section needs to be considered when comparing, for instance, standard
plastic piping with Pilot Air’s Quickline aluminium piping. The aluminium
piping offers a larger internal pipe size that allows greater air flow to
distribute air efficiently, reducing energy consumption.

To ensure your air compressor delivers top performance along with energy
efficiency, check whether your compressed air system piping is up to the task
of efficiently distributing air.

Consult with Pilot Air’s team of experts if you need advice on your
compressed air distribution system. Call 1300 667 579 or visit www.pilotair.com.au.

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