How to plan for your future compressor needs
Through careful planning and a comprehensive commitment to researching the marketplace, plant operators can avoid overloading their compressed air system and reduce future downtime. Operators must also consider factors such as pressure drop, which can grow between the compressors and the end-point with the increase in the air that has to pass through the initial distribution piping. Within this blog, we’ll outline several methods to overcoming these challenges of managing a growing compressed air system.
Planning Begins with System Design
The design of a compressed air system should be scalable to meet future growth targets. This means that operators must allow for at least a 25% increase in demand within the system by oversizing elements such as piping, valves and controls in order to regulate flow with the higher system demands. However, operators should also take efficiency into consideration when analyzing future needs.
Compressors should not be oversized. As we know, compressed air systems are energy intensive. Therefore, each compressor should be sized and selected directly alongside the controls for the system. This will ensure operational efficiency at the required flow rate for the company’s applications.
Potential Team Shift Changes Should Accounted For
Within industrial plants, teams are usually working in shifts to complete their work using compressed air systems. In designing a system to ensure all future demands are met, the intricacies of the shift system should be analyzed within the design strategy. For example, a plant might operate their compressed air system over 3 shifts per day – morning, afternoon and night – with vastly different levels of demand per each shift. The selection of compressors and air systems equipment should be completed to ensure the highest performance efficiency at every demand level across the schedule.
Future High-Demand Events Must be Considered
Oftentimes, companies face simultaneous high-demand events within their compressed air systems. These combined events, as well as periods of low demand, must be planned for when designing the system. For prudent planning, elements such as system storage volume, system controls and compressor controls should be optimized to help future operators carefully manage the impact demand has within the system and provide scalable capacity to meet this demand.
The future holds great promise within the compressed air field. But companies must be proactive in analyzing how their system will help meet future capacity challenges. To discuss a future-proof design strategy with an expert, contact our team today!