"The US Department of Energy estimates that half of all compressed air generated is wasted.
Does your Free Air Energy Audit show you how your energy is being used?"
Over the past decade, one of the fastest growing trends in the air compressor industry is the conducting of air energy audits. Relatively self explanatory, these practices are used to measure the efficiency of compressed air systems in manufacturing facilities and businesses.
Nearly every compressor manufacturer offers their own version of an “audit” or another as a tool to help their customers (and their salesmen). Unfortunately, the industry has already begun seeing compressor companies take advantage of the term by offering “Free Air Energy Audits.” Obviously anything that’s free is intriguing, and we’re not here to tell you to turn down a free “energy audit” necessarily. We’re here to help you understand exactly what that free audit is, and more importantly, what it isn’t.
What do Free Air Energy Audits consist of?
To put it simply, a Free Air Energy Audit is a sales tool. They consist of a compressor salesman coming in and hooking up a KW logger (and pressure logger at times), to your air compressor system. The loggers typically remain there for a week’s time and captures a very limited snapshot of the power consumption that your existing compressor is consuming. While this information is somewhat accurate, it is then transferred to the manufacturer’s “audit software”, where the data is translated into CFM flow assumptions. You have to ask yourself, how are we measuring accurate CFM flow if we aren’t measuring CFM?
Some pieces of the equation to be skeptical of…
- Software used requires salesmen to manually enter data that is not produced by your specific machine but from a factory data sheet containing “standard” machine information. This is how the software ASSUMES the CFM output in the attractive little report given.
- Free Energy Audits disregard important variables such as proper supply and demand side examination, actual CFM being produced, how much of that air produced is being wasted in leaks, how much of the air is being used inappropriately on the demand side, proper system pressure, measurement of pressure loss through the air system, age of compressor equipment, etc.
This data is then presented to customers in an aesthetically pleasing document showing how much they can save if they buy Model XYZ compressor from them. This is then passed along to a company’s decision makers. While some of this information can be useful, it lacks the thoroughness needed to accurately assess the efficiency of your compressed air system. More so, it gives the salesman the ammunition needed to make a sale.
What should an Air Energy Audit consist of?
True air energy audits are comprehensive assessments that measure all aspects of your compressed air system as it pertains to your facility. True air audits include detailed air system demand and supply side analyses. On the demand side, true air audits should determine how the air is being used at each specific point of use. Is enough air or too much air being used to power the needed tools? On the supply side, an energy audit should show how the air is being produced and distributed throughout the entire facility. In addition, the proper power, pressure and flow logging used in a true Air Energy Audit should provide the comprehensive information needed to recommend accurate short term and/or long term plans to implement into the air system.
Our Air Energy Audit Advice:
When assessing the efficiency of your compressed air system, we recommend calling a 3rd party provider. Do NOT rely on a “Free Energy Audit” from your factory store salesman (Compressor Manufacturer Branded Salesman). Take the time to have your compressed air system assessed in it’s entirety to determine exactly how your facility uses it’s air, and how it can be used more efficiently. It will be worth every penny.