Research Papers

Influence of Volumetric Capacity on Energy Consumption in Oil-Lubricated Compressed Air Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Pawel Olszewski

Department of Engineering Technology,
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh,
Halsey Science Center 353,
800 Algoma Boulevard,
Oshkosh, WI 54901-8644
e-mail: olszewskip@uwosh.edu

Claus Borgnakke

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
2031 AL (W.E. Lay Auto Lab),
1231 Beal,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2121
e-mail: claus@umich.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received January 19, 2015; final manuscript received July 1, 2016; published online August 2, 2016. Assoc. Editor: S. A. Sherif.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 8(4), 041007 (Aug 02, 2016) (10 pages) Paper No: TSEA-15-1033; doi: 10.1115/1.4034091 History: Received January 19, 2015; Revised July 01, 2016

The aim of this research is to estimate the influence of compressed air volumetric capacity on the energy consumption in systems equipped with oil-lubricated screw compressors. A mathematical model of oil-lubricated screw compressors has been proposed. The model is verified by comparing with real measurements, and overall uncertainty analysis is estimated. An in-house developed numerical code (c++) is used to calculate the energy consumption in 252,000 combinations. The final result can be used to estimate the energy efficiency of existing air systems and to assess potential energy savings due to changes in the operation of the system and its control strategy.

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Fig. 1

System pressure changes and power consumption in oil-lubricated screw compressor with LOAD/UN-LOAD control system

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Fig. 2

Power consumption during singular LOAD/UN-LOAD cycle

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Fig. 3

Energy savings by a reduction P* in output pressure

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Fig. 4

Comparison of proposed mathematical model and measurements of various compressors—30 kW, 100 kW, and 300 kW and 240 s, 840 s, and 420 s, respectively

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Fig. 5

Relationship between compressor power and compressed air flow rate

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Fig. 6

Block diagram of the computation program

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Fig. 7

Relative energy consumption ε as a function of relative volume flow rate ζ for various(top) nominal powers (WNOM) at relative volume v* = 1 (m3/(m3/min)) and pressure set PMIN/PMAX: 7 bar/9 bar; (bottom) compressor pressure setup (PMIN/PMAX) at 150 kW compressor and relative volume v* = 1 (m3/(m3/min))

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Fig. 8

Relative energy consumption ε as a function of relative volume flow rate ζ for various compressor pressure setups (LOAD/UN-LOAD) at 150 kW compressor

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Fig. 9

Average relative energy consumption ε* for several relative receiver tank volumes v* (black lines) is shown as a function of relative compressed air consumption ζ including uncertainty (gray lines)

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Fig. 10

Values of relative compressed air consumption ζ in which relative energy consumption ε exceeds 100%



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