Unlike instrument air, service air usage is quite similar to service water. It can be used for cleaning, displacement, pneumatic transportation of particulate materials like catalysts or powdered chemicals, and to drive pneumatic tools. Eventually in plants where the presence of explosive gases can occur, it can be used to pressurize ambients and equipment like electrical panels to prevent these explosive gases from entering.
Quality requirements for this stream are not tight, and normally the compressing process diminishes moisture to acceptable levels for final use. It is only compressed air, but its use at large should be discouraged and inappropriate use restrained. Compressed air can be one of the most expensive sources of power in the industry.
Many efficiency opportunities are present, but one significant parameter can greatly impact air compressor efficiency and that is intake air temperature. Much less energy is necessary to compress cool air, than that required to compress hot air. Reducing inflow air temperature by moving compressor intake to outer and higher spot may reduce dramatically compression energy.
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