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An estimated 30 to 50 percent of energy used in a compressed air system is wasted during operation.

In addition to self-regulating efforts, government bodies and industry groups are driving more stringent industry standards to ensure today’s air compressor systems meet peak energy efficiency and performance targets.

Industry groups agree that the end result of this energy standardization will likely be the promotion of minimum efficiency standards, product testing procedures, certification and enforcement of standards and energy efficiency labeling for air compressors. This will drive research and development teams to push the boundaries of efficiency with innovations as well as system improvements, proactive service strategies and maintenance offerings.

New solutions are already coming to market. For example, recently introduced Ingersoll Rand Next Generation R-Series rotary screw compressors improve energy efficiency by up to 13 percent, and even higher with variable speed drive options.

Manufacturers are motivated to gain a competitive edge by delivering greater performance and energy efficiency. However, when it comes to compressed air, energy efficiency cannot come at the cost of reliability.

There are advanced compressed air technologies available that are capable of providing improved performance, while reducing the customers’ energy footprint and maintaining reliable compressed air for highly effective operations.

The Ingersoll Rand Next Generation R-Series has been engineered to deliver increased capacity while consuming less energy. At the core of this model is an innovative airend, which is the most vital component of every air compressor.

The airend contains rotating, meshing helical rotors to compress air. These rotors require advanced engineering to optimize efficiency and reliability. Many design factors like internal pressure ratio, rotor tip speed and rotor profile must be balanced. This is where expert engineering is critical to success. Ingersoll Rand benefits from being able to leverage over a century of compressor experience with highly sophisticated modeling and simulation software to optimize every aspect of airend design.

Our analytics show that by using more efficient compressors and applying a comprehensive service program, we can reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the compressor by up to 20 percent.

Variable speed drive – Rather than loading and unloading a compressor with a fixed speed motor to support a varying demand, a variable speed drive (VSD) regulates the speed of the compressor to efficiently deliver compressed air based on actual need.

The Ingersoll Rand Next Generation R-Series with VSD can save up to 35 percent in energy use over a fixed speed compressor. Variable speed control allows the compressor to deliver compressed air at constant pressure over a wide range of capacity, up to 75 percent turn down depending on model and pressure rating

Intelligent control - Remote monitoring allows users to control, manage and identify maintenance needs on air compressor systems through their computers. Users can adjust settings and program compressors according to specific events through real-time schedules.

Air compressors with adaptive controllers continuously monitor performance parameters and automatically adjust settings to meet a specific application’s needs. Adaptive controllers use advanced control algorithms that automatically adapt to the environment. This delivers better performance, reduced downtime risks and energy conservation.