How to Reduce Production Costs with an Energy-efficient Compressed Air System – Works Carried out for a Thermal Power Plant

How to Reduce Production Costs with an Energy-efficient Compressed Air System – Works Carried out for a Thermal Power Plant
Donat Czapski

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  • implementation of a technically and economically optimal compressed air supply system for a total of 54 receivers as part of the modernisation of auxiliary systems in the water treatment plant
  • provision for the full demand for air produced by one compressor for all reception points with the assumed coincidence factor of operation
  • adaptation of the compressor room for ventilation (maintaining the right temperature in the compressor room)
  • execution of assembly works without disturbing the continuity of power plant operation

Scope of works:

  • disassembly of operated equipment and piping
  • design and execution of a compressed air system
  • construction of a full ventilation system and modernisation of the existing system
  • development of a detailed design

Benefits for the investor:

  • design of an energy-efficient system allowing to reduce production costs
  • comprehensive execution of works while maintaining strict OHS and fire protection standards, without disturbing the operation of the power plant
  • fully redundant compressed air generation system for operating conditions

Check out the details of the installed equipment and services provided:

The task was to design and build a compressed air system as part of the modernisation of technological systems of a water treatment station in one of the power plants. The designed system will be used for generating the compressed air which will be supplied to a total of 54 receivers. Our experience in conducting works on industrial systems – where the highest OHS and fire protection standards are required and frequently the continuity of production must be ensured – allowed us to complete the task comprehensively, in a way that did not disturb the company’s operation.

How to Design an Energy-efficient Compressed Air System

We started the design of the energy-efficient system with a thorough analysis of compressed air demand in terms of quantity, quality, pressure and consumption over time. In general, systems are designed to meet the needs of a specific technology used or required by the Investor.

One of the key aspects associated with the implementation of the task was the inventory of the facility in order to select the best possible location for the new equipment and provide access for the operation and maintenance work.

Our designers have selected a suitable system with the required parameters (i.e. capacity, pressure, coincidence factor of operation, purity class, required dew point) at the lowest possible cost. The energy-efficient system will significantly enhance energy savings and thus reduce production costs.

Installation of the Compressed Air System

Once the detailed design was ready, we were able to proceed with the task. First, we dismantled the previously operated equipment together with the piping system. The installation of the actual system was then commenced.

According to the Investor’s specification, the system was made of stainless-steel pipes, although compressed air systems are usually made of galvanized pipes.

The modernized system fully meets the demand for the air produced by one compressor for all reception points. In total, the system supplies 54 receivers with compressed air, including valve islands controlling two-state drives, control drives, 4-point measuring station, alkalinity analyser and directly controlled two-state drive. If a malfunction occurs in the air generating line, the second line is automatically started.

Importantly, if there is a need for more compressed air than the working demand for the system described above, it will be possible to operate two compressors and dehumidifiers at the same time.

Ventilation System for Compressor Room

In connection with the modernization of the system, it was necessary to adapt the compressor room to the conditions of the equipment installed there. Therefore, we installed a full ventilation system together with hot air discharge channels from compressors and intake ducts and supplemented the ventilation systems supporting the compressors with electric actuators on (intake and discharge) throttles.

The final stage of the investment project was the development of the as-built design, taking into account the changes in relation to the original design as introduced during the installation. The compressed air pipes have been thoroughly cleaned prior to commissioning. In addition, we also carried out a pressure test to confirm the tightness of the system. Its positive result was equivalent to the commissioning of the system.

Compressed Air System Components

For the proper operation of the whole system we have selected and installed the following devices:

  • oil screw compressors with direct drive with appropriate capacity and pressure – 2 items;
  • modular adsorption dehumidifiers – 2 items;
  • cyclone separators with time-controlled condensate drains – 2 items;
  • filters with time-controlled condensate drains directly after the cyclone separators and before and after the dehumidifiers – 6 pieces;
  • compressed air buffer tank with insulation adapted to external conditions, equipped with a pressure gauge, safety valve and drain valve with automatic condensate drain and heater – 1 item;
  • water and oil separator, as part of the condensate drain system – 1 item.

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