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Leak Detection & Energy Audits

Leak Detection & Energy Audits

With our advanced tools for leak detection and data-logging, Ash Air can detect leaks and analyse your energy consumption. We will provide you with a comprehensive and easy-to-understand report and recommend the right solution for your system and save you money.

Leak Detection

Compressed air leaks can commonly account for 20-50% of a plant’s total compressed air consumption. Frequently, fixing leaks is as simple as tightening a loose connector and as such can provide an extremely attractive payback period. Ash Air have qualified technicians for ultrasonic air leak detection, who can not only detect the leaks but can provide on the spot repairs. Most leak detetion programs that are carried out do not offer this service as standard but at Ash Air we can save you money from the minute we start on your site.

Why Fixed Compressed Air Leaks? 

Leaks are one of the primary forms of wasted energy in an industrial compressed air system. Typically wasting 20 to 30 percent of a compressor’s output, sometimes as much as 50%.

Periodic leak detection and repair will reduce system leaks to a more acceptable industry best practice rate of less than 10 percent of compressor output.

In addition to being a source of wasted energy, leaks can also contribute to other operating losses.

Leaks cause a drop in system pressure, which can make air operated devices function less efficiently, this can adversely affect productivity and profitability.

As a result, equipment can be forced to run longer. Leaks shorten the life of almost all Compressed Air system equipment (including the compressor package itself). Increased running hours will lead to additional maintenance requirements and potentially unscheduled and avoidable downtime. 

Why Start With Leaks?

  • Very short payback, typically between 3 to 6 months.
  • Find your spare compressor!
  • Base load energy reduction.
  • Can significantly lower annual maintenance cost! 
 

Ash Air service technicians actively look for energy saving opportunities and we are keen to pass any significant energy savings onto our customers.

A comprehensive leak detection survey on your compressed air system is one way that we can do this for our customers. A survey can be carried out with minimal disruption to your production schedule and we are happy to work in with you to establish the best possible schedule to achieve this. Typically the survey can be carried out during the normal operation of your plant / facility or we can arrange to carry out the survey during a scheduled shutdown, weekend or overnight shuts.

Solutions

Since air leaks are generally impossible to see, other methods must be used to locate them. The best way to detect leaks is to use an ultrasonic acoustic detector, which can recognize the high-frequency hissing sounds associated with air leaks. This portable instrument consists of directional microphones, amplifiers and audio filters. They usually have either visual indicators and/or earphones to detect leaks.

By means of scanning around a test area, it is possible to very quickly latch onto a leak and pin point its location. For this reason, ultrasonic leak detection is not only fast, but also very accurate in the hands of a trained Technician.

However, No leak survey has ever saved anyone any money! The only way to save money is to Repair the leaks identified!

A follow up survey should be undertaken to ensure all repairs have been completed correctly.

Ash Air Ultrasound leak detection covers a wide range of leaks: pressure or vacuum and any common industrial gases.

Ultrasound instruments detect the turbulent flow produced as the fluid (liquid or gas) moves from the high-pressure side to the low-pressure side of a leak. As it passes through the leak site, a turbulent flow is generated. This turbulence has strong ultrasonic components which are heard through headphones and seen as intensity increments or decibels on the instrument’s display panel. It can be generally taken that the larger the leak, the greater the ultrasound level.

For this reason ultrasound leak detection is used in many facilities for safety, environmental, energy and/or quality assurance requirements.

Energy Audits

The benefits of a Compressed Air Audit, are the potential reductions in the operating costs for the end user; this in turn will improve the productivity of the manufacturing process. Ash Air can tailor a compressed air audit to suit your needs. If a walk through audit is sufficient one of our team of trained staff can carry this out, and feed this information back to you in a professional report with actions and recommendations.

We can also offer full in depth audits; with a comprehensive data logging of your compressed air equipment on site. As a result of this, we can propose recommendations to enhance the operation of your equipment on site. Energy represents the largest cost associated with operating an industrial compressor and therefore represents the largest opportunity for savings. One way AshAir can help to calculate your energy consumption is through the use of a data loggers. During off load running, fixed speed compressors deliver no air but can still consume between 20-40% of full load power.

At Ash Air we know it's important to understand a users air demand so that the best solution can be identified in order to save energy losses. Data Loggers can be connected to the incoming electricity supply which records a reading of the incoming Amps every 90 seconds over a seven day period. This data is then downloaded from the data logger into a software package. Graphs and reports can be produced to simulate and calculate energy consumption. This data can then be analysed to produce a demand profile for the compressor system and subsequently an accurate compressor profile can be recommended. Installing the correct compressor for your system requirements is the first step in saving energy and reducing your energy costs.

 

Top 10 Targets of a Compressed Air Leak Detection / Audit

Following the recommendations of a leak detection / audit usually pays for itself in a short time by saving tens of thousands of dollars in operating expenses.

The 11 most typical, highest payback audit items are:

1. Plug leaks – set up a short-term leak inspection program through ultrasound so that every sector of the plant is inspected at least once a quarter to identify and repair leaks.
 
2. “Down with over pressurization” – excessive pressure increases leaks and wastes money. Over pressurization will amplify problems, not solve them.
 
3. Double-check air requirements – production often overestimates the amount of air it needs. Plants need to change their focus from maintaining air supply to supplying air to meet demand. More air and more pressure is simply more cost.
 
4. Angle connections: all teed off – replace tee connections with directional angel entry connections.
 
5. Bad piping – convoluted piping, piping restrictions, old pipes and incorrect pipe sizes often lead to pressure loss.
 
6. Get rid of obsolete restrictions – clogged filter elements, forgotten manual drain traps and neglected separator cartridges can cause significant drops in pressure and negatively impact capacity and reliability, not to mention creating air-quality issues.
 
7. Insufficient storage – the value of an appropriately sized air receiver and appropriate compressed air piping is underestimated. All air systems will do better with storage between the user and the process. The amount of effective storage for any system is where the operating control band is equalized by the back pressure in the system.
 
8. Inappropriate use – unregulated use of compressed air, and using compressed air for inappropriate purposes, wastes a lot of energy. Considering it costs eight times as much to use air as it does to use electricity, you may want to re evaluate unregulated air-powered cabinet coolers, blow-offs, vacuum generators, mechanical pumps, air motors and hoists, vibrators, aeration, spraying and a host of other equipment.
 
9. Maintain the system – poor air quality adversely affects overall plant operations.
 
10. Poor maintenance also affects efficiency. Make sure you have a planned route and are consistently conducting compressed air surveys in order to ensure your plant is running as efficiently as possible.

 

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