By: Michael Camber
A new year is a fresh start—a chance to try something new and maybe even learn something in the process.
If you’ve resolved to make improvements to your compressed air system, you don’t have to go it alone. There are a number of resources (many of them free) to give you advice on how to smartly manage your system.
Here’s a list of online, easy-to-use resources to help you unlock the efficiency in your system.
Sign up for Compressed Air Webinars
Several industrial magazines offer webinars free-of-charge. These webinars are on a number of topics—including compressed air—and are conducted by industry experts. You can register to attend, or if you prefer, watch the online, archived version as your schedule allows. Many webinars offer additional resources for download that pertain to the webinar topic and you can usually download the slides as well. While the presenters typically have an affiliation with a manufacturer, since it’s hosted by the publication, the webinars are educational in nature and are not a sales push. Here are some industrial magazine’s webinar pages to take a look at:
Our experts also regularly present at webinars and offer system design and efficiency tips. You can see a list of our archived webinars here.
Compressed Air Rebates
Utility companies across the United States offer rebates and incentives for making improvements to compressed air and other systems. While the guidelines and requirements vary by utility, many require a certain level of documentation to validate the savings. Some may have additional stipulations (e.g. conducting a leak detection audit and repairing the leaks before proceeding with system baselining and determining recommendations for improvements). Whatever the case may be, it’s important to work with a compressed air system expert who will be able to provide the necessary paperwork and help you navigate the sometimes confusing application process.
Finding the rebates and determining whether or not you qualify can also be a bit of a quagmire. Fortunately, there’s a database of available rebates that is searchable by region. You can find the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) search tool here—best of all, it’s free. This database isn’t limited to compressed air rebates, so you may also be able to find incentives for lighting, HVAC, or other efficiency-related improvements.
Compressed Air Seminars
The Compressed Air Challenge (www.compressedairchallenge.org) is a group dedicated to educating users and helping them improve their compressed air system efficiency. They offer full day seminars (Level I and Level II) on system best practices. The trainings are held in a number of locations throughout the year and are led by the CAC’s qualified instructors. If you have several people with responsibilities related to compressed air in your plant, or multiple plant locations, you might benefit by hosting a training workshop yourself.
Kaeser offers Half-Day Conferences throughout the school year. Geared for engineers who design compressed air systems and those with compressed air responsibilities, this educational opportunity offers attendees ample time to speak with industry experts and learn how to optimize their system. For a list of conferences, visit www.kaeser.com/conferences.
These seminars are not free to attend, but the amount of unbiased, expert systems information you’ll receive is worth every penny.
Compressed Air Online Learning Resources
The Compressed Air and Gas Institute (CAGI) is a non-profit organization committed to educating users on the proper application of compressed air. They offer a number of valuable educational resources, including the CAGI SmartSite. According to their webpage, it’s “a series of eight e-learning modules produced by CAGI, to explore various facets of compressed air.” There’s a test for the modules and when everything is completed, you will receive a certificate of completion from CAGI.
SmartSite is a great way to learn about compressed air or brush up on the basics. Since it’s online, you can learn at your own pace and on your own time. Because it’s provided by CAGI, you can rest assured that the information is unbiased.
Do you have an online resource you can recommend? If so, leave it in the comments.