- BAL KISHAN Sharma, Manager- Instrumentation, IOCL, Gujarat Refinery
Compressed air is widely used throughout industry and is often considered the “fourth utility” in industries, other being power, water and steam. Almost every industrial plant, from a small machine shop to an immense pulp and paper mill, from small chemical plant to large oil refinery and petrochemical unit has some type of compressed air system. In many cases, the compressed air system is so vital that the facility cannot operate without it. In many industrial facilities, air compressors use more electricity than any other type of equipment. Inefficiencies in compressed air systems can therefore be significant. Energy savings from system improvements can range from 20 to 50 percent or more in terms of electricity consumption. For many facilities this is equivalent to thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of Rupees of potential annual savings, depending on use. A properly managed compressed air system can save energy, reduce maintenance, decrease downtime, increase production throughput, and improve product quality. Many of the different levers for cost reduction may be known, but just not applied due to lack of knowledge about the financial savings possible.
This paper shows and explains the different ways to efficient compressed air production and distribution to the end user and provides the insight of various production & distribution issues like correct generation pressure, efficient control of multiple compressors, leakages etc. with example of their application in IOCL Gujarat Refinery.