SPX Compressor Cuts Energy Use at Ball Corp. Site

SPXA Ball Corporation facility in Whitby, Ontario, has achieved significant energy savings by replacing a number of inefficient refrigeration air dryers with a single high-efficiency SPX Hankison HES Series dryer, according to a feature on SustainablePlant.

Air compressors are the main use of energy at Ball canning facilities, accounting for around 20 to 30 percent of a canning sites energy, the article says. The Whitby plant is no exception.

An air audit at the 200,000-square-foot Whitby site was carried out in September 2012 by Arvada, Colo.,-based Blackhawk Equipment. The final report advocated the air dryer replacement.

Blackhawk’s analysis found that Whitby’s existing drying equipment had a high pressure drop that made it very expensive to treat the air. Such drop in pressure from the compressor to the point of use is an inefficient use of energy. On average for every 1 pound per square inch differential between compressor and point of use, the efficiency of the compressed air system is reduced by 0.5 percent, SustainablePlant says.

As a result of the audit the Whitby plant installed the SPX Hankison HES Series dryer (pictured) that has a 1.5 pound per square inch differential pressure drop, compared to the plant’s 2.5 pound per square inch differential requirement. The new air system helped reduce system power consumption by 110 kW, according to the article.

The upgrades to the air system qualified Ball for an energy rebate worth almost $45,000 and will save the plant around $60,000 a year in electricity costs, the article says.

In November, the tag made air compressor manufacturers’ performance data available. The CAGI Datasheets provide a common basis to compare certain factors — such as energy usage — and help companies select the compressor or dryer best suited to their needs.

From the CAGI Datasheets page, users can views compressor performance data from Atlas Copco, BOGE, CompAir, FS Curtis, Gardner Denver, Ingersoll Rand, Kaeser, Quincy and Sullair, as well as dryer data from Atlas Copco, Domnick Hunter, Ingersoll Rand, Hankison and Zeks.

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