Compressed Air System
Reliability Upgrade, NY
Compressed Air System Reliability Upgrade
Industry: General Manufacturing
Location: Long Island, New York
Project Date: 12/01/2010
System Engineer: Matthew Gandolfo
Background: KG Power Systems was contacted by the customer to explore ways to improve their compressed air system's reliability and efficiency. After conducting a two month reliability and energy survey to record kW consumption vs. pressure and flow output, K&G redesigned and installed a new compressed air system gaining reliability, energy savings and rebates.
Air Usage: Power its manufacturing process (sheet metal stamping, cutting, conveying and drilling)
Challenge: The existing compressed air system was unreliable, inefficient, and poorly designed. The high level of condensate in the air system caused tools to fail and wear quickly.
Air Compressor: The system was relying on several machines; one 50 HP, one 30 HP Rotary Screw, a duplex 10 HP Rotary Screw and two 10 HP Reciprocating Air Compressors. The rotary's were overworked and the recips and rotary duplex were unreliable and insufficient as backups. This caused frequent down time as the system relied heavily on one machine.
Throughout the years, the customer would add small reciprocating air compressors as quick fixes to keep up with the air demand. One by one the small recips would fail and be replaced, this wasted money and ignored the main problem; a poorly designed compressed air system.
Air Dryer: Only two dryers were installed and one was not operational. The one dryer could not keep up with demand and resulted in a water flooded air system.
Filters: Undersized causing pressure drop, filled with water as the auto drain valves failed.
Condensate Management: All drain lines from the compressors, dryers and filters were connected to each other without any check valves. This caused black flow pressure* which damaged each of the float rains. Water was everywhere, drain lines dripped on the floor, on machines and back into the system.
*Backflow pressure is caused when two condensate lines are joined from two different pressures. When the automatic drain valve releases on the high pressure side it floods water into the lower pressure valve and back into the system.
Tank: Undersized, 320 gallons of storage for the entire system.
System Pressures Regulation and Pipe: Pressure regulator was to small and caused pressure drop. No drip legs in the low spots, causing water to build up, turbulence and pipe corrosion.