Everyone’s air system makes water that has to be drained. The key is how do you do it without wasting air.
One customer recently saved thousands of dollars in electrical bills as a result of installing zero loss drain valves. An investment of $900 brought a savings of over $3,200. While this was an extreme case, there are simple things that can be done to save money on every air compressor system.
One of our customers made a small investment to make a major improvement in efficiency. After a thorough review of the air compressor system, it was determined that there were 4 ball valves open throughout the plant and on equipment to drain water.
After we ran some calculations, it was determined that 65 CFM was required to drain the water, or 20 BHP for 4000 hours using 64,172 KW. The cost of removing the water was $3,208 per year. By installing $900 worth of zero-loss drain valves, the customer recovered their investment in just three months. On top of that, 65 CFM was available to be used elsewhere in the plant.
This example points out that any compressor system drain that expels air with the water should be changed out for a zero-loss valve. Many people use an automatic timed drain which you can set it up to be effective in summer’s high humidity conditions but it’s never touched. These are always set up for a worst-case scenario by using the most amount of air.
A properly sized zero-loss drain can range in cost from $200 to $600, depending on the system CFM. The payback is usually less than six months.
You should look at your system to see how many open valves or ADV automatic drain valves you have. Then multiply each by 13 CFM to see how much air is being wasted. Each ADV automatic drain valve using 13 CFM will cost around $600 per year, per shift, if left on. For each drain valve that is expelling air, you have found a source for potentially saving money in short order.
Need help deciding how you should attack your drains that are potentially costing you $1,000’s per year? Call ACW at (561) 844-4559 for additional information.