An increase if compressed air use can be caused by many system deficiencies
On water treatment equipment compressed air is the preferred energy for automating process valves. The same source of compressed air is also used for filter integrity testing and to clean the membranes during the air flush process. An air leak in a filtration skids pneumatic system will result in increased energy costs due to a higher consumption of air and performance inefficiencies to critical processes.
Increased air consumption is a leading indicator
A measureable increase in system air consumption can be caused by many things
- Inadequate fitting connections
- Cracked or punctured tubing
- Worn out seals inside pneumatic actuators
- Leak in solenoid pilot valves or manifold assembly
Monitoring the consumption of compressed air is an excellent diagnostic tool for the equipment manufacture and the end user as it’s also a way to report the overall health of the pneumatic system. Water filtration equipment will typically go through a factory acceptance test (FAT) prior to shipment. During the FAT testing a flow sensor is installed to monitor a volumetric consumption of air during specific tasks/sequence, or test system health (consumption) while sitting idle. With an air consumption baseline the skid builder and operator now have a comparison chart that can be used to trigger an alarm if the system is out of an acceptable tolerance threshold set at the factory.
This is very cost effective feature to any filtration skid. This data can also be remotely accessed over Ethernet which can reduce the field service risk during warranty periods. Monitoring and detecting changes in air consumption can allow the operator the ability to troubleshoot a problem before it occurs, saving money and increasing uptime of the equipment.
One of the most expensive energy resources in a facility is compressed air, so having the ability to measure this resource allows a real cost to be attached to a compressed unit of air. A way of making the consumption of compressed air transparent is with a flow meter.
Even though an audible air leak can be helpful to identify areas that are in need of maintenance or replacement, you can have air leaks that you can’t hear on the pneumatic system that can identify premature failure points. This is where a flow sensor can detect leaks and quantify how costly they are to the end user. In an effort to maintain the efficiency and system availability of your water filtration equipment it is recommended to use a flow sensor in bring transparency to your systems consumption of compressed air.
Remote monitor / diagnostics of air consumption