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Compressed air

Optimizing Compressed Air Systems

Although it is often viewed as an essentially free resource, compressed air (CA) is anything but free. In fact, in many industrial plants, air compressors consume more energy than any other single end use. And once the air is compressed to the desired pressure, it often has to be dried and cooled before it is sent through the distribution system to the end use, requiring even more energy (Figure 1). According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), CA accounts for 10 percent of industrial electricity consumption. Figure 1: Compressed air system diagram This shows a typical compressed air s…

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