Compressed air energy efficiency

How to draw up a compressed air action plan

Guide

It's a good idea to plan the measures your business will take to increase the energy efficiency of your compressed air system. The following steps will help you to understand how you use compressed air in your business, identify opportunities for improving efficiency, and measure the impact of any changes you make.

Step 1 - understand your compressed air system

Look at your system and identify where all the components are situated. Check the condition and operation of the key components. If possible, monitor the power consumption over a certain period (for example, a week) to gain a baseline against which any improvements in energy efficiency can be measured.

Step 2 - understand how your compressed air system is used

Examine the way in which the system is used. Think about issues such as pressure settings, air intakes, system misuse and alternative systems.

Step 3 - identify and prioritise actions

Identify the areas where energy efficiency can be improved and decide how and when energy-saving actions will be implemented. Some measures could be simple to carry out in-house but others may require specialist assistance.

Step 4 - seek specialist help if necessary

Contact a specialist contractor or consultant - or the Carbon Trust - to discuss the more complex energy saving options if you need to. The British Compressed Air Society can help you identify a suitable specialist.

Step 5 - make changes and measure the savings

Make the necessary changes to your system to improve energy efficiency. By measuring the savings you will get useful information that will help you make future management decisions about your compressed air systems.

Step 6 - continue to manage your compressed air systems for energy efficiency

Put in place policies and procedures to ensure that your system continues to operate efficiently and that energy savings are maintained in the future.