The more the better, right? Well, we all know that’s seldomly true. For just about anything in life there is a sweet-spot, a goldilocks equation, a predetermined engineered design point and if you own or operate a compressed air system you may never have thought about what over-pressurization is and how turning up the pressure, like maxing those speakers in your car, can adversely affect it the entire system and your wallet.
Interestingly, many users think that operating their compressed air system at high pressure will end up achieving better results. But in actuality it just creates more issues and uses more power. This decreases energy efficiency to the tune of thousands of dollars in energy losses each year. Furthermore, over-pressurization typically doesn’t even lead to improved performance. Remember, these machines were designed with that sweet-spot in mind, any deviation typically results in poorer performance.
Causes of Over-Pressurization
If you ask most industrial facilities what they run their air compressors at, you’ll probably hear most of them say 100 psi, which meets the threshold for what most of their equipment and applications require. However, an overwhelming majority of compressed air users operate the system well over what is necessary simply because they don’t know why or how to control their system. A plant that runs at 120psi uses about 10% more energy for about the equivalent useful volume of air at 100psi- it’s not worth it.
High pressure means faster leaks. The more you increase your system pressure the more the numerous leaks around the facility grow. This only grows the leak load and overall waste of the system as a whole. This may push the compressor configuration into a situation where compressors load and unload (short-cycle) unnecessarily which decreases system stability and you see this spiraling out of control feedback loop, and that’s not good for the machine(s).
Ways to Prevent Over-Pressurization in Your Compressed Air System
Do you regularly audit your compressed air system? You should– and monitor its gauges. It’s always better to “err” on the side of lower pressure. Also, look for air leaks, piping or filtration faults, and bad valves or hoses. When needed, have repairs or upgrades done.
Case Controls designs and builds control solutions for industrial compressed air utilities. If and when you need maximum efficiency, great reliability, and complete system transparency, rely on Case Controls; Call us at 1-800-294-7856 to discuss your needs.