Opimizing Compressor Intake Conditions

Efficiency gains can be obtained by taking measures even before the air is compressed. Optimizing air intake conditions often include the following:

  • Adjusting the air-intake point: if the average ambient temperature outside the building is lower, ducting compressor intake air from a suitable place outside should be considered. Every 10 °C reduction in he air temperature can improve compressor efficiency by 2.5%.
  • Keeping the filters in good condition: If filters are dirty, blocked or obstructed they reduce the airflow to the compressor and cause extra pressure drop. This can increase energy consumption by up to 4%. Inspection and maintenance of the filters should be included in the maintenance schedules (Carbon Trust, 2012).
Development Status Products

Opimizing Compressor Intake ConditionsCosts & Benefits

Parent Process: Compressed Air Systems
Energy Savings Potential

This measure is estimated to offer following improvement potentials:
• 2% for low efficiency base cases;
• 1% for medium efficiency base cases;
• 0% for high efficiency base cases.

Electrical and primary energy savings potential of this technology for different countries is estimated as following (UNIDO, 2010):


  Final (GWh/y) Primary (TJ/y)
US  203 2227
Canada 54 667
EU 185 1731
Thailand 53 535
Vietnam 24 341
brazil 82 915
CO2 Emission Reduction Potential

Total emisson reduction potential, as kt CO2/y for different countries are estimated as (UNIDO, 2010): 

US 122
Canada 26
EU 80
Thailand 27
Vietnam 11
brazil 12


Estimated typical capital costs of this measure for different system sizes (S) are:
• US $150  for S < 37 kW;
• US $400 for 37 kW < S < 75 kW;
• US $1000 for 75 kW < S < 150 kW;
• US $2000 for 150 kW < S < 375 kW;
• US $3000 for 375 kW < S < 745 kW; (UNIDO, 2010)

Cost of conserved energy, expressed as US $/MWh-saved, in different countries are estimated as following (UNIDO, 2010):

US 87.3
Canada 86.9
EU 87.6
Thailand 24.6
Vietnam 24.8
brazil 28.1

Parent Process:
Energy Savings Potential
CO2 Emission Reduction Potential



Opimizing Compressor Intake Conditions Publications

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