Biological Insecticide Manufacturing Facility

$318,646 per year energy cost savings (simple payback of 4 months) was achieved by installing Air Compressor Automation, a Flow control valve, an air receiver tank and some new piping.


BASELINE
The Chemical Manufacturing facility uses compressed air as part of their process to grow, aerate, desiccate and package biological insecticides. Three air compressors with a total full load of 910 HP were used to provide 110 PSIG air for their 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation. Desiccant dryers with heat assist and dew-point demand controls were installed in series with each compressor in order to ensure sufficiently dry air for the fermentation process. Costly pressure drops occurred at multiple locations throughout the distribution piping because it was undersized relative to the air flow.


RECOMMENDATION
Energy Savings was achieved by installing:

  • An air receiver tank upstream of an Intermediate Flow Control Valve which separates the demand side from the supply side of the air system, thus preventing the plant from over-pressurizing the header (2% decrease in pressure enables a 1% decrease in energy usage).
  • Pipe with a larger diameter in the areas prone to pressure drops. The larger pipe reduces friction losses and the corresponding pressure drops.
  • An automation control panel in order to ensure that the operating compressors are properly staged relative to the pressure and flow requirements of the system.


ENERGY SAVINGS
Relatively cheap and simple improvements allowed this Chemical manufacturing facility to reduce the average power demand of their compressed air system by 306 kW. Considering their around the clock operation, this corresponds to an annual energy savings of 2,569,728 kWh, or $318,646 per year. The simple payback on this project was 13 months. The project received a $40,000 incentive from the electric utility company.