How do you prioritize safety in your custom garage?
Are you making sure to use the right compressed air system for wood working? Do you double-check your compressed air fittings when they start showing signs of not being up to standard? It’s a lot of work tallying up weekly details and making sure they’re all hitting the right percentage, but it’s worth it both for your peace-of-mind and the quality of your final product. Air compressor tubing is an irreplaceable part of any custom car garage or hobbyist toolkit. Using your compressed air distribution system correctly every time means staying safe and even saving money.
You don’t have to be an expert on your compressed air system for wood working to still take advantage of what you have. Here’s what you should know about your compressed air system design.
First off…who uses air compressor piping on a regular basis? Manufacturing plants and hobbyists alike find themselves investing many hours of their time ensuring air compressor tubing is up to snuff. One study even found out over 70% of all manufacturers in the United States have a compressed air system. These are a useful redirection of energy that still provide consistent quality in the manufacturing process…provided they’re maintained. Ignoring leaks, strange noises or dips in performance is a frustrating accident just waiting to happen.
Cost is always a major factor. Energy audits conducted by the U.S. Department Of Energy (or DOE) have suggested over 50% of compressed air systems at either small or medium-sized industrial facilities have the potential for low-cost energy conservation opportunities. Sadly, many still don’t take advantage of this simple fact and think avoiding repairs is the way to save money. Compressed-air system leaks are one of the most costly issues, as a mere one-eighth inch diameter hole in a 100 psi system can waste an excess of $1,000 in energy.
What other risks should you be aware of when it comes to your compressed air system for wood working? You always need to keep an eye out for pressure loss. Pressure loss in a properly designed system should be less than 10% of the compressor’s discharge pressure, that of which can be easily found on the gage on the outlet of the compressor. If the pressure loss is greater than 10% you need to start evaluating your distribution system and identify areas that could be causing the excessive drops. Doing this will see your two pounds-per-square-inch decrease reducing your operating costs by nearly 2%.
It helps to know how your compressed air systems for auto repair work in the first place, too. Artificial demand is a term used to denote the relationship between pressure and activity. This is created when an end use is supplied air pressure higher than required for the application. For example, an application requiring 50 psi being supplied 90 psi will have excess compressed air used. Pressure regulators at the end will then be needed to minimize the artificial demand. It’s been found as much as 80%, even 90%, of electrical energy used by an air compressor is converted to heat.
It’s more than possible to save money and still use the amount of energy you need to complete your task. A properly designed heat recovery unit has the ability to recover anywhere from 50% to 90% of your heat for heating either air or water. If your compressed air system doesn’t have an air receiver tank you can always add one to buffer short-term artificial demand changes. Keep in mind the tank should be sized to the power of the compressor. A 50 hp air compressor, for example, will need a 50-gallon air receiver tank to keep pace.
Safety, energy conservation and quality all go hand-in-hand. Keep this in mind when adjusting your compressed air system for wood working and watch your work thrive.