Compressed air is produced by a compressor which in most cases is operated by electricity from the grid. For example, European industry uses 3% of its total electricity consumption to produce compressed air. Electricity consumption, which is the energy supplied, accounts for the majority, about 70% of the total cost of compressed air production over a ten-year period. Other expenditure items are mainly investment costs, as well as service and maintenance.
Given that much of the energy supplied is lost through leakage, heat and idling, the efficiency of a compressed air system offers substantial potential savings. Losses due to leakage of 20-50% during regular operation of a compressed air system are not uncommon.
What does compressed air cost you?
As a starting point and basis for price calculations and purchasing, it is often important to know specific costs such as the cost of cubic meter of water, a kilowatt hour of electricity, or the kilometer cost of truck transport. However, people are rarely aware of the cost of compressed air. Studies have shown that the majority of decision-makers do not know what a cubic meter of compressed air costs. Since compressed air is usually produced on site, and not by an external supplier, there is no way to easily monitor what it costs.