Compressed air upgrades make an instant impact

When evaluating industrial or commercial facilities for energy-saving opportunities, one of the easiest targets is compressed air systems. While often overlooked, these systems are one of the main culprits behind bloated costs and energy waste. Fortunately, through Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Custom Energy Solutions, you may be able to cut those costs by 10-20 per cent through routine maintenance and up to 50 per cent by repairing leaks and replacing outdated or inefficient equipment.  

Custom Energy Solutions offers incentives on scoping audits or engineering studies that can help you identify problem areas as well as implementation incentives on custom projects to cover up to 50 per cent of capital costs involved in upgrading or replacing equipment. Compressed air improvements provide immediate cost savings as well as improved efficiency and reliability.  

Small leaks have large costs 

One of the easiest ways to save is by locating and repairing leaks caused by dust or sludge in your compressed air system. A small air leak might not seem like a major problem but repairing small holes can result in instant savings. If your system is running 24/7, you could be wasting over $10,000 a year because of a ¼” hole (see below for more estimates).  

  • 1/16” hole wastes about 7,600 kWh = $760/year  
  • 1/4” hole wastes about 113,500 kWh = $11,350/year  
  • 3/8” hole wastes about 255,500 kWh = $25,550/year  

Imagine how much you’re wasting if your system has multiple leaks! By simply repairing leaks throughout your facility you may be able to save up to 50 per cent in annual costs from compressed air. Custom Energy Solutions can help you identify these opportunities, repair the leaks, and upgrade other equipment to help your facility become even more efficient. 

Simple steps to save 

Along with leak repair, there are other steps your facility can take to quickly reduce the costs associated with compressed air. For instance: 

  • Turn It Off: Turning your compressors off during the evenings and weekends could reduce your energy bills up to 20 per cent. 
  • Recover Heat: Compressing air gives off heat, and as much as 90 per cent of that heat can be recovered and reused. Hot water can be repurposed for use at your facility, resulting in increased savings. 
  • Lower Pressure: An efficient unit requires lower air pressure which leads to even lower costs. No more turning up the pressure to compensate for leaky or clogged pipes. 

Take part in a Custom Energy Solutions scoping audit and one of our Program Allies will walk you through all these ways to save and more — including equipment upgrades like zero air-loss drain values, dryers, and VFDs. Up to 100 per cent of the scoping audit cost is covered by incentives when you move forward with a custom project, and you’ll save even more thanks to your new efficient compressed air system.  

How to get started with Custom Energy Solutions 

There are multiple pathways to participation. To start, visit Energy Efficiency Alberta website, and then contact an Account Manager at customsolutions@efficiencyalberta.ca. From there, your Account Manager will evaluate your facility and its energy efficiency needs. The Custom Energy Solutions program is building momentum and we are looking forward to expanding the reach and helping all of Alberta improve their facilities one step at a time. 

To learn more, visit efficiencyalberta.ca/customsolutions