Compressed air is often described as a fourth energy source. It's a valuable resource for many industrial applications and a fundamental component of the modern industrial world. Compressed air is a form of energy currently used in many ways and certain equipment is specifically designed in pneumatic mode.
What is compressed air?
Compressed air is produced from atmospheric air which has been compressed by a compressor to a higher pressure than atmospheric pressure. During the mechanical compression process, the pressure is generally raised to between 6 and 12 bars for the majority of industrial applications. It is therefore a form of energy that is used in most industries around the world. It is used in a variety of ways (from jackhammers to dentists' drills) but is especially used for drives in screwdrivers and other tools, as well as lifting, transport, sorting…
Why does industry use it? How much does it cost?
Compressed air is a form of energy with many advantages: sure, clean, easy to store and transport. It is used by industry because of its flexibility of implementation. Unlike other energy sources like gas or electricity which have to be delivered to the production site, compressed air is generally produced on site. However, users have to be careful about quality and reduce their production costs as much as possible because compressed air can be expensive if it is badly managed, despite the relatively low initial investment cost when compared to other existing solutions.
On average industry uses 10% of its electricity consumption in producing compressed air. Annually this represents about 90 TWh in the USA, 80 TWh in Europe.
Recycling compressed air used in companies: using a compressed air motor
There are several methods that maximize the global output of a pneumatic system and some industries have obtained spectacular results. With them most of the energy that is used to produce the compressed air can be recovered.
Recycling the warm air using the pipes of the compressed air circuit to recover the air and recycle it permits you to recover almost all the energy that is used by the compressor. Calorie recovery is an attractive solution for making the compressed air system more economical and reducing your energy footprint.