There’s a Gremlin Hiding in Your Compressed Air System

There’s a Gremlin Hiding in Your Compressed Air System

There’s a Gremlin Hiding in Your Compressed Air System. It’s name is turbulence and he’s up to no good!

PlantServices Hank van Ormer & Don Van Ormer

Turbulent flow can often lead to significant and continuing energy dollar waste. It can affect productivity, quality and production equipment integrity. It’s not something you should want.

The basic rule for compressed air piping between the supply and users has always seemed clear:

  • Pipe the air to filters, dryers, receivers and regulators and on to the production floor at the correct flow at the correct pressure with minimum pressure loss
  • Size the outlet pipe from the compressor to meet the volumetric flow, not to match the size of the compressor discharge port

Plant engineers and operators should be aware that these principles are often overlooked. Most realize that pressure drop is directly proportional to volumetric flow and inversely proportional to line size.

Air system designers often overlook air velocity as a critical factor. Instead, they focus on friction-induced pressure loss. Ignoring air velocity can result in:

  • Unplanned backpressure or pressure drop
  • Elimination of effective storage for control operation

Loss of a steady signal pressure for electronic controllers. To learn more on how piping designs can help your company save money call 1-866-468-9814.