Reduce energy wastage by minimising compressed air leakages

By W Holt, Shield Technologies


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Published in:

Electricity+Control, June 2013 (pages 68 – 69)

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Leaks can be a significant source of wasted energy in an industrial compressed air system, sometimes wasting 20 to 30% of a compressor’s output. A typical plant that has not been well maintained will likely have a leak rate equal to 20% of total compressed air production capacity. On the other hand, active leak detection and repair can reduce leaks to less than 10% of compressor output. The first step in tackling leaks is to recognise the costs involved and make a commitment to a plant wide awareness programme. Regular, continuous attention to the compressed air system, coupled with proper maintenance, will lead to effective progress in minimising leaks.


Take note

  • About 30% of electrical energy used to compress air in South African industry is lost.
  • Leak detection is therefore crucial.
  • Leaks must be detected, repaired and monitored as a matter of urgency.