WHAT IS GAS ENGINE DRIVEN AIR COMPRESSION?
air compressors are typically driven by an electric
motor. However, a natural gas-fired
engine can also be used to drive an air compressor.
The gas system produces reliable, high quality
air at a lower price. When compared to traditional
constant speed electric motors, the variable speed
engine is inherently better suited to deal with
most fluctuation air compression needs.
What are the Best Applications for Gas Engine
Gas-fired air compression has many practical
industrial applications. Examples of excellent
candidates for gas units are industries which process
food, chemicals, plastics or fabricated metals.
These facilities, and others which use compressed
air for packaging, stamping, assembling, conveying
or any other major application, may realize significant
What are the Major Benefits of Gas-Fired Air Compression?
The four major benefits of using gas engines
to produce compressed air are:
Lower Energy Cost
With the current cost of electricity, natural gas
engines can save up to 50% of air compression
costs, including maintenance.
Higher Efficiency at Part Load
Studies show that industrial air compressors typically
operate at 60-70% capacity. Electric compressors
lose efficiency in this range. However, gas engines
are built to handle these part load conditions,
and continue to operate at their highest efficiency
even when running as low as 60% full load.
Low-grade waste heat recovered from the engine
cooling jacket as well as from exhaust gases
can be used in other applications such as preheating
boiler make-up water or space heating. This recycled
heat can reduce energy costs even further.
Clean-burning natural gas can help many facilities
achieve environmental compliance objectives.
What are the Potential Cost Savings with Natural
Since 1991 there have been nearly 200 installations
of natural gas engine-driven air compression systems
in the United States. Facilities are experiencing
cost savings of up to 50% per year and paybacks
on their investments within two to four years.
What Equipment is Currently Available?
There is a full line of packaged gas engine air compression systems available
from several manufacturers, such as Ingersol-Rand, Dearing, Quincy and LeRoi.
Engines range in power from 50 to 500 horsepower (hp). The systems come pre-packaged
on a skid and are easily installed by qualified personnel.
Are there Any Local Installations?
In Angola, New York, Flexovit USA, Inc. has installed
two 150 horsepower gas engine-driven air compressors
for its production facility. Natural gas engine-driven
air compressors lower costs by eliminating a portion
of the electric load as well as costly demand
the Next Step?
Fuel’s technical staff can conduct
a free pre-qualifying analysis of your facility
to help determine the benefits of natural gas engine-driven
air compression for your business.
For more information about gas air compression,
contact our Energy Services Department at 1-800-343-4568.