“With every AirAudit we find opportunities for improvement that pay for themselves", says Ab Soekhoe, Sales Manager at Geveke Energy Services in Amsterdam. That is saying something, because each year, Geveke Energy Services carries out more than one-hundred-and-fifty AirAudits with the VPFlowScope proving to be an indispensable measuring instrument.
There is a good reason why Soekhoe favours the VPFlowScope above other meters. He is one of the compressed air specialists who was involved in the development of the flowmeter at VPInstruments. Soekhoe believes that his needs have been fully met. “The VPFlowScope measures mass flow, pressure, temperature and flow direction, which means we only have to install one meter instead of four. Moreover, the VPFlowScope is compact, simple to install and the integrated data logger is easy to read. Reliability and accuracy are also very important to us. We operate throughout the Benelux and we cannot afford to keep on having to go back and reinstall equipment.”
Main pipelines and points of use
To obtain useful measurements, Soekhoe places measuring equipment throughout the compressed air system. “Not only do we take readings at the compressor system outlet, we also take them at the points of use. The relationship between these two is essential is the system is to perform at its best. We recommend placing high-end flowmeters in the main pipelines and low-cost flowmeters at the points of use. We monitor the quality and the increases and decreases in compressed air use in the main pipeline, whereas at the points of use, we look in particular at any changes in consumption patterns. By linking all the measuring points to VPVision (permanent energy monitoring) or a building management system, all information can be monitored from in front of a computer.”
Top 3 issues
Geveke Energy Services has analysed the data collected and used it to come up with practical advice on how to make savings. The top three most common issues are:
Mismatch between the capacity of the compressors and demand for compressed air.
Controlling compressors incorrectly.
Poor handling of sluggishness when there is varying demand for compressed air.
Soekhoe immediately provides the solutions to these issues:
If the capacity of the compressor system is too great, energy consumption will be unnecessarily high. On the other hand, if there is too little compressed air supply, the pressure may fall away completely. A different compressor setup or installing a pressure vessel offer possible solutions. Although this may seem expensive, energy costs represent a hefty 75% of the total cost of ownership, so the outlay is soon earned back.
The incorrect controlling of compressors can be fixed with a compressor management system that selects the correct compressor configuration for every level of demand for compressed air and runs it within the most efficient range.
An Intelligent Flow Control can resolve any poor handling of sluggishness when there is varying demand for compressed air. This is achieved through the installation of a dynamic buffer vessel combined with a smart valve that is capable of responding to variations in compressed air demand at lightning speed. This is much quicker that a compressor that needs to provide a “boost”. The system keeps the pressure in the compressed air network remains highly stable meaning the system pressure can be set considerably lower than was previously possible.
After an AirAudit, the VPFlowScopes are removed; however, Soekhoe is seeing a trend in which customers are putting more investment into permanent measuring equipment that monitors long-term compressed air consumption. This makes sense because energy is being given a higher priority due to the cost-saving potential, reduced CO2 emissions and government legislation that requires companies to show that their compressed air systems are being monitored. The right experience is needed for all the data to be interpreted properly and then converted into appropriate actions towards optimising the compressed air system. Leave that to Geveke Energy Services.
Place permanent VPFlowScopes and monitor your compressed air use constantly with the aid of VPVision or your building management system.
“The VPFlowScope measures mass flow, pressure and temperature. This means you only have to install one meter instead of three.”
In practice: Make savings by linking compressed air networks
A drive system company has two separate compressed air networks: a high-pressure one and a low-pressure one. There is overcapacity in the high-pressure network, causing the compressors to run inefficiently. Not enough heat can be recovered so more unnecessary heating is required. By smartly linking the high-pressure and low-pressure systems with an inverted IFC flow pressure regulator, the high-pressure network compressor can be run at full capacity and heat can be optimally recovered. The overcapacity is monitored and using a VPFlowScope and transferred in a controlled manner to the low-pressure network, resulting in the reduced use of the compressors in the low-pressure network and average net savings of no less than 80kW (0.7MWh per year)!
Geveke Energy Services AirAudits always provide savings opportunities. Geveke Energy Services favours VPFlowScopes for their audits. More and more organisations are choosing permanent VPFlowScopes to monitor their compressed air consumption at all times.
VPInstruments quickly repays itself
VPInstruments provides real-time insight into the usage of compressed air and technical gases. The equipment shows where, when and how much the usage is. And that is almost always significantly more than necessary. The innovative and user-friendly meters and monitoring equipment guarantee substantial savings. The web-based software of the VPVision monitoring system is the cornerstone of any energy management system with ISO 50001 certification. Investments in products by VPInstruments very quickly pay for themselves.
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