Satisfying a loan arranger

25 January 2013

In addition to helping UK manufacturer Astrum secure a £400,000 Carbon Trust loan, a Teseo compressed air delivery system has helped the company save 1,253,800kWh - which equates to £80,560 per annum

In addition to helping UK manufacturer Astrum secure a £400,000 Carbon Trust loan, a Teseo compressed air delivery system has helped the company save 1,253,800kWh - which equates to £80,560 per annum

Teseo UK's hollow bar system (HBS) and aluminium profile (AP) compressed air delivery products are designed for efficiency, meet regulatory requirements and provide a 100% leak free system combined with valved zoning. In an industrial application this versatility means that individual production areas can be automatically isolated when not in operation to eliminate air leakage, useful when seeking the maximum energy efficiencies.

The aluminium extruded piping has an external rectangular section with tee slots and a fine, smooth internal bore. A wide selection of angle and straight joints and clamping brackets make the system flexible in layout and quick to install.

Lighter than traditional steel airlines to install, Teseo lines are energy efficient due to the higher flow rates of a smooth profiled aluminium tube (typically 30% higher than steel) which equates to a lower pressure drop and overall energy and cost savings compared to traditional galvanised systems from day one.

The Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust's mission is to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, by working with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies for the future. To encourage the move, it offers interest free loans for business upgrades to eligible companies; any project that can demonstrate energy/cost savings in excess of the CO2 threshold of 1.50t CO2/£1000 of loan (minimum loan value £3000) will be considered.

The Carbon Trust audits all proposals before any loan is approved. Energy users can be certain that the energy savings claimed are accurate and will re pay the capital within the loan term.

A recent successful application has seen Teseo products included as an integral part of the project, with about 1350m of HBS. Pipe diameters include 110mm for the ring main & compressor house plus 80, 63, 50 and 32mm sections for sub mains and production equipment connections. There are more than 120 connections to production equipment.

Quest for approval
Based in Stanhope, Durham, Astrum is an authority on the design, development and manufacture of high quality steel castings. It is accredited with SC21, a quality system for the UK Defence and Aerospace industries. As part of a general drive to reduce manufacturing costs and increase production efficiency the company commissioned Air Energy Management (AEM) to undertake an independent compressed air energy audit. AEM is an independent consultancy whose aim is to reduce energy costs associated with compressed air systems.

Implementing Government directives, it specialises in reducing compressed air demand on main factory air compressors while maintaining air supply necessary for production requirements.Whereas most upgrades might focus on the compressor side of the system, AEM measures wastage from the system starting from the user interface and working back towards the power plant. Having finished the survey, the resulting proposal hung on the strengths of the Teseo product.

Richard Dainton, MD of AEM explains why Teseo was so important to the project: “The Carbon Trust will not approve the loan unless they are sure that the energy savings are achievable. I put together a project justification to save energy through reduction of air leakage and effective pressure control. I included Teseo pipework because it is 100% leak free and has low pressure drop which means less power is needed to push the air around the system.

“The Teseo product was also anodised so the performance will remain constant over time as it will not corrode. Another consideration was that the roof would not take the weight of heavy steel pipe; Teseo is light weight which also makes it quick to install.”

In general, for every 1 bar reduction in air pressure 7.5% of compressor power can be saved.When combined with correctly sized receivers and effective pressure control significant energy savings are easily achieved.

Sean Connolly, MD of Teseo UK, says: “The Carbon Trust approval of our product in the Astrum/AEM proposal gives credence to our assertion that compared to traditional galvanised steel products and contemporary offerings on the market Teseo offers better energy efficiencies, lower pressure drop, a leak-proof and easier to install and modify system.”

Mike Hutchinson, operations director at Astrum, adds: “Our compressed air system is critical to the performance of our plant and the quality of our products.We use compressed air for making sand cores and moulds for our castings as well as control air and vacuum.The air delivered must be clean, free of contaminants and dry.We took the advice from AEM as to working benefits of the Teseo system but did go out into the market to compare products and it was clear that the Teseo product offered efficiencies in the installation and set-up process. The installation is set to be completed early in the new year.”