10/06/17 – Monitoring compressed air is vital to increase energy efficiency

Compressed air uses more electricity than any other type of equipment in a production plant. It can account for 20% of a company’s overall energy costs. This is not surprising considering the myriad of uses it has in many manufacturing processes and the number of compressors that may be used in a large compressor system. Monitoring compressed air usage can be the first step in creating a more energy efficient system overall, explained Pam Casson Managing Director of Contrec Ltd

By measuring compressed air consumption leaks can be identified and dealt with immediately, it can ensure the correctly sized compressors are being used in the best places, at the right times, and it can reduce the overall plant consumption. This could reduce overall energy usage, lower a company’s carbon footprint and save thousands of pounds a month in large industrial plants.

There are a number of different Contrec instruments, which can be used to monitor compressed air depending on the specific flowmeter used. For example, CML’s 515 GC01 application is ideal as it measures the volume, corrected volume and mass of a general gas. The instrument uses a frequency volume flow input and analog temperature and pressure sensor inputs. It is compatible with a wide range of flowmeter frequency outputs. Millivolt signals, reed switches, Namur proximity switches or pulse trains can be selected via its smart front-panel programming.

The properties of a gas are calculated using common industry standard equations of state: Ideal Gas, Redlich-Kwong, Soave-Redlich-Kwong and Peng-Robinson. These equations use a simplified set of parameters to quickly and accurately determine the value of compressibility and actual quantity of gas. A variety of calculations are available to suit the nature of the gas and the measurement conditions.

Its many features include its ability to allow quadrative flow input for ISO6551 level B pulse security and its non-linear correction capability. The front panel display shows the current values of the input variables and the results of the calculations. It can be supplied with a real-time clock for data logging of over 1000 entries of the variables as displayed on the main menu.

Contrec is an independent specialist manufacturer of flow computers, batch controllers and flow rate totalisers for the flow meter industry. Contrec can provide a wide range of solutions, from the 120A Level Monitor, which offers four level alarms and accepts a 4-20mA signal from a number of different level sensors, to the 515 BR01 Frequency Input Batch/Ratio Controller that is tailored for volumetric frequency flow input. CML also has the capability and expertise to engineer a complete system, from design and creation to installation and commissioning.

Contrec provides flow instrumentation for the petroleum industry, off-shore pipelines, gas, air, water and energy, as well as the food and beverage industries. In process industries flow meters are used for a wide range of applications, such as accurate chemical dosing, metering of additives, leak detection and measurement of incoming water usage. The company supplies its products to service centres in Australia and the USA and its many distributors around the world, including several key original equipment manufacturers.