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Energy Recovery in Compressed Air Systems

By Deepak Vetal, Atlas Copco |

Users of compressed air can take advantage of heat recovery to enhance their sustainability, improve energy efficiency and reduce system lifecycle costs Air compressors account for a considerable portion of industrial energy consumption, and facilities that employ large-scale air compression units are increasingly concerned with optimizing their energy use. Because it is used everywhere, compressed air is often referred to as the industry’s fourth utility after water, gas and electricity. Although air may be free, compressed air is not. Therefore, finding the most efficient solution for delivery of compressed air should be a top priority, in addition to increasing the energy efficiency throughout the entire air-compression installation — from supply to distribution to final use. This article looks at the ways that energy management — specifically through the effective application of energy-recovery efforts — can benefit operators of air compressors.   Where to begin There are numerous guidelines and standards developed by groups like the International Organization for Standardization (ISO; Geneva, Switzerland; www.iso.org) that can provide guidance on how to improve a company’s overall energy efficiency, but they…
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