August 3, 2016
Compressed air is one of the largest consumers of electricity in most industrial plants, so it's a big opportunity for energy savings. At the 2013 CEE Industry Partner meeting, CEE members and air compressor manufacturers and distributors identified greater availability of holistic system audits as an opportunity to enhance energy savings in compressed air. Enabling an industry-wide understanding of compressed air practices allows manufacturers, facility owners, and program administrators to work together toward the common goal of using less energy and saving money. Like the test procedures for packaged blowers, acceptance of a uniform compressed air audit creates a basis for shared goals and information.
Since 2013, a dedicated group of CEE members has worked with industry partners to develop a set of minimum practices for programs offering compressed air system audits. As leaders from both CEE and the compressed air industry worked together, they realized that current audit methods were often ignoring significant aspects of energy use, particularly on the demand side of compressed air systems. Raising consciousness of just how much opportunity was being left on the table is an important outcome of this process.
The proposed audit practices take into account both supply-side and demand-side efficiency opportunities. Drafts of a CEE Industrial Compressed Air Systems Initiative and Program Priorities for Compressed Air System Audits are now out for formal industry review. If the CEE Board adopts this Initiative, the expectation is that facility customers will have increased confidence in the audit process and greater willingness to participate.
Both of these documents are expected to be available for program adoption in 2017, subject to CEE Board approval. Contact CEE for details.