Compressed air dryers added to ECA list

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As part of the UK government's Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme, Parker Domnick Hunter energy-saving compressed air drying products with Dewpoint Dependent Switching (DDS) have been added to the Energy Technology List (ETL) with effect from 1 December 2008.

The ECA scheme for energy-saving technologies is a straightforward way for businesses to improve their cash flow through accelerated tax relief by encouraging investment in energy-saving plant or machinery specified in the ETL, which is managed by the Carbon Trust on behalf of the Government.

When replacing compressed air purification equipment, businesses are often tempted to opt for that with the lowest capital cost; however, such immediate cost savings can prove to be a false economy. Considering the life cycle cost before investing in equipment can help to reduce overall costs and improve cash flow in the longer term.

The ECA scheme provides businesses with 100 per cent first-year tax relief on their qualifying capital expenditure. This means that businesses can write off the whole cost of the equipment against taxable profits in the year of purchase. This can provide a cash flow boost and an incentive to invest in energy-saving equipment that normally carries a price premium when compared to less efficient alternatives.

A good example is the provision of compressed air desiccant dryers where the regeneration costs can be significantly wasteful of energy if not optimised correctly. Compressed air desiccant air dryers are used on approximately 15 per cent of industrial sites to remove the moisture present in the compressed air before it is used. This type of air dryer is energy-intensive, but it removes significantly more moisture than a refrigerant air dryer and is usually specified for exposed installations or special applications, for example, in circumstances where there is a risk of bacterial growth in the piping and the compressed air coming into direct contact with food products.

A Parker Domnick Hunter PNEUDRI desiccant air dryer fitted with DDS Energy-Saving Controls will operate the dryer in a manner that eliminates unnecessary desiccant regeneration cycles to provide considerable energy savings.

The amount of energy that can be saved by fitting moisture-sensing control systems varies considerably depending on the application, and drying costs through the use of moisture-sensing control systems can be as high as 80 per cent of total operational costs.

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