Jaguar drives down its compressed air energy costs

Jaguar has worked with CompAir to upgrade the compressed air networks at its West Midlands-based plants. The programme has reduced air power consumption by 26 per cent, with a maximum two years’ payback at each site, the companies said.

In order to calculate the potential energy savings from a new compressed air system, CompAir first carried out an audit on the existing units.  A data-logging device was fitted to each machine to record parameters such as air use, pressures and energy consumption.

With readings taken every second over a two-week period, CompAir engineers were able to model Jaguar’s compressed air requirements and could demonstrate a number of cost savings that could be made by upgrading to newer models.

As a result, Jaguar chose to upgrade the network to two fixed-speed and one variable-speed rotary screw compressor.  The system is configured so that one fixed- speed unit and the variable-speed machine run constantly, with the remaining compressor coming online to cope with increased demand.

After one year of operating the new compressor system, Jaguar reported that the energy savings has exceeded the original calculations, resulting in a faster payback period than anticipated of less than two years.

The second stage of the programme saw the upgrade of the compressor system at the Browns Lane veneer-manufacturing centre, and the final site to be audited is the Castle Bromwich assembly plant.  Here, there are four compressor houses; three serving the main ring network and one for the paint shop.

Jaguar is continuing to log the air usage of each system and has already replaced one fixed-speed machine with another variable-speed compressor, to help meet demands from the network more efficiently.

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