Energy Optimization Study and Design of Compressed Air Systems in Miscellaneous Buildings
*ACASS Rating: Very Good
The purpose of this study and design project was to evaluate and upgrade the compressed air systems in 10 buildings at MCAS Cherry Point with the goal of optimizing the performance and energy efficiency of each system. The study considered such items as reduction of existing compressor size, compressor sequencing, compressor scheduling to shut down the system during unoccupied times; and piping repairs, modifications, and/or replacement.
The work entailed documenting existing conditions, including nameplate data, equipment configuration, piping arrangement, and visual conditions of equipment. The work also included the electronic monitoring of every air compressor in each building for a minimum of 7 days to record pressure and amps to evaluate the sequencing and economics of each system. Most of the air compressors were oversized compared with their current demand.
This project moved forward into design and included repair and replacement of compressed air systems. Final construction documents were provided in less than 77 calendar days from notice to proceed. The design documents provided details to install new compressors, properly sized receivers, and new refrigerated dryers. In addition, RMF replaced air receiver automatic drains and install oil separators, readjusted pressure ranges, removed all abandoned compressed air piping and compressor controls to establish proper lead/lag staging, and provided an Energy Monitoring Control System to monitor all compressors.
- Report created for each building for recommended improvements for a total of 20 compressors (800+HP) ranging from 5 to 150 HP.
- Downsized and replace the compressors with newer more efficient units
- Provided refrigerated dryers and air filters
- Installed automatic drain valves
- Reduced the operating pressures
- Removed abandoned branches of piping
- Turned off compressors during non-working hours
- Resized electrical services to compressors where needed
- The original goal of the project was to save 25% electrical power. The actual connected horsepower of equipment was reduced from 800 HP to 521 HP (35% reduction).