With energy consumption representing a great proportion of a compressor's lifecycle cost, compressed air has gained a reputation for being among the most 'energy hungry' utilities in a typical installation. However, Atlas Copco Compressors argues that, by using energy recovery technology, compressors can actually offer energy savings and even be a source of energy. To demonstrate this, the company has launched a new information-led website, www.useyourenergytwice.com, which highlights the potential for compressed air energy savings using energy recovery technology.
Visitors to the website can find useful facts and figures relating to compressed air energy use and learn how using energy recovery technology can not only have a significant impact on profitability, but can also reduce CO2 emissions. For example, the ZR oil-free screw compressor range with energy recovery control has the potential to give energy savings from 55 to 750kW - which equates annually to 200 to 2500 tons of CO2 or £35,000 to £480,000 of electricity or heating cost. The website also offers information on how to switch a water-cooled compressor into an energy source through efficient energy recovery systems, and how it is possible to recover a large percentage of the electrical input energy as hot water.
A major feature of the website is the inclusion of an interactive calculator that demonstrates just how much energy and money a particular application can save by implementing energy recovery. Interactive calculations are performed by setting factors such as the choice of boiler fuel (electricity, gas, or heating oil), the input power of the compressor, the percentage of available recovered power, the cooling water temperature entering the compressor, the required outlet water temperature and, finally, the required hot water flow rate. Annual savings are then shown in terms of monetary value, MWh (in the case of electrical boilers), fuel volume, and the annual reduction of CO2 emissions.
Other sections of the website address topical issues such as the low carbon economy and why energy is important. There is also a section that looks at which industries and applications can benefit from energy recovery, as well as information about the technology available, such as compressors with energy recovery capability and energy recovery control units. The FAQ section provides a useful summary of the reasons why a company might use energy recovery technology and the savings they can expect as a result.
For more information go to www.useyourenergytwice.com.