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Maximizing Compressed Air System Efficiency: Insights from Industry Experts

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by Erin Hipolito
February 1, 2024

In the realm of industrial manufacturing, compressed air is often heralded as the fourth utility, integral to operations but often overlooked in its strategic importance. Industry experts recently delved into the nuances of compressed air management, focusing on maximizing return on investment through judicious air compressor storage choices.

The Centrality of Compressed Air Storage

Compressed air storage is not just an add-on but a central component of a well-designed compressed air system. Its benefits extend beyond the immediate, affecting system efficiency, safety, and operational costs. Storage tanks come in a plethora of sizes and orientations, each designed to meet the stringent safety standards required to prevent premature failure due to factors like cracking or corrosion.

Customizing Storage to System Needs

Every compressed air system is unique, with storage solutions tailored to match. The introduction of storage tanks serves as a bulwark against fluctuating demand, buffering the system, and elongating compressor cycles. This strategic placement mitigates wear and tear, thereby extending compressor life and ensuring a more stable pressure supply for operations.

Determining Storage Capacity

A general guideline suggests a storage capacity of 3 to 5 gallons per CFM of compressor output, but this is merely a starting point. The specific needs of a facility must be carefully evaluated to determine the optimal storage configuration.

Strategic Tank Placement

The strategy behind tank placement involves both 'wet' and 'dry' tanks. Wet tanks are positioned before air dryers, collecting moisture and thus safeguarding the dryers. Conversely, dry tanks reside post-dryer, acting as a buffer and stabilizing operational pressure. Moreover, for extensive facilities, point-of-use tanks ensure adequate pressure at the critical sites of use.

Addressing Pipe System Limitations

While pipe systems inherently offer some degree of storage, they are not immune to leaks. Consequently, supplementary storage solutions are imperative to maintain consistent pressure and prevent costly drops in system efficiency.

Maintenance is Key

Regular maintenance is paramount, from checking for leaks to monitoring tank pressure. Implementing timer drains, which can be configured to specific intervals and durations, ensures the system remains free of moisture build-up—a primary culprit in the degradation of equipment such as pneumatic tools and laser cutters.

Pressure Gauges and Safety Valves: Non-negotiables

The installation of pressure gauges is critical for monitoring and ensuring tank pressure remains within safe operating limits. Alongside this, safety valves are non-negotiable components that ensure system integrity and user safety.

The Unanimous Verdict on Drains

When queried on the necessity of drains across the system—including compressors, wet tanks, dry tanks, lines, and point-of-use tanks—the answer is a resounding yes. Every segment must be equipped to handle moisture effectively, ensuring the air remains as dry as possible.

The Case for Ample Storage

The adage 'the more, the better' applies aptly to air storage. Citing a case study, the speakers highlighted a customer with significant compressor capacity but no storage, leading to inefficiencies and pressure issues, despite having unused tanks available.

Single Tank or Multiple? System Design Decides

The requirement for multiple tanks hinges on the system's design and the compressor distribution within the facility. A single large tank may suffice in some cases, while others might necessitate multiple strategically placed tanks to ensure system stability and efficiency.

Take the Next Step Towards Compressed Air System Efficiency

Maximizing Compressed Air System EfficiencyAre you ready to harness the full potential of your compressed air system? If you're an engineering or maintenance professional eager to improve efficiency, safety, and energy savings in your industrial facility, the time to act is now.

Call us today at 404-363-6000 to discuss your needs with our team, or visit us at to leave us a message.
For a more in-depth look, watch the full original webinar here-

Your facility's operational excellence is just a conversation away. Take this step to ensure your compressed air system is not just a utility, but a strategic asset. Act now and make every PSI count!

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