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Using System Pressure Control to Improve the Compressed Air System at Goulds Pumps
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More and more manufacturers are aggressively pursuing energy-cost management in an effort to become more competitive. At most industrial sites, the compressed air system used throughout the plant is often the single largest user of electricity. Plants are typically operated with multiple compressors, each running at some previously manually established operating point. The operating points of each compressor are typically based on operator knowledge of the plant, which in many cases does not take into account the most efficient use of energy. Automated supervisory control of multiple compressors is a key part of a complete solution for demand-based control of compressed air systems. A project to develop a compressed air supervisory controller that will optimally schedule the set points of multiple compressor systems in response to demand for air in the plant has been undertaken at Goulds Pumps in Seneca Falls, New York. The project is cosponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, the Electric Power Research Institute, the Empire State Electric Energy Research Corporation, and Honeywell Inc. The effort is broken down into three phases: an audit, installation of compressed air controls, and a monitoring phase. As of January 1998, controls are being implemented and system monitoring is ongoing. The goal of the compressed air system is to optimize the energy efficiency of the 1,850 hp compressor system while reducing system pressure swings.
Caropolo, B.; Sember, P.; Glace, P. (1998). Using System Pressure Control to Improve the Compressed Air System at Goulds Pumps. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from