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Good practices in CP: 74. Reducing electricity consumption by upgrading the compressed air system in the tile factory building (Ceramika Kornak)

Written By Polski Ruch Czystszej Produkcji on czwartek, 27 października 2022 | 11:25

photo by Ceramika Kornak


Good practices and investments related to Cleaner Production

Example No. 74
Reducing electricity consumption by upgrading the compressed air system in the tile factory building

Ceramika Kornak – Kornak sp.j., Adamowice

Industry branch: ceramic
Main products: glazed tiles for furnaces and fireplaces

Resources in question:

  • Compressed air
  • Electrical energy
Pollution, waste in question:
  • Noise
  • Emissions into the atmosphere (indirectly)
  • Waste (indirectly)
Cost (implementation of good practice): Low
(PLN 830 – including the costs of: repair of a low-power compressor: PLN 600, purchase of an air supply line: PLN 80, annual maintenance of the device: PLN 150)

Description of the problem:
In the production of tiles, compressed air is essential, used in the glazing process (spray application of glaze) and for cleaning the products from ceramic dust. The company has so far used, in conjunction with another company, a large age-old 37 kW compressor. The compressed air distribution network was also outdated.
Analysis of the compressed air distribution system revealed a number of flaws:
  • The need to fill a large air tank (10 m3) even with low demand
  • The need to fill the air throughout the network, even when only one company was working (there were about 55 such days in 2020),
  • Age of the installation, its poor technical condition (during field observation 16 points were found where air leaks from the network, including 8 large leaks)
  • Numerous valves along the way, generating leaks and noise
  • Frequent starting of the compressor due to leaks (additional costs) – when the pressure dropped below 6 Ba, the engine restarted to reach a pressure of 7.5 Ba in the tank)
  • Large distance from the device, which makes handling difficult and increases the possibility of leaks
Measurement of the volume of lost air from the system showed that the loss is about 5.6 m3 of air per hour (compressor capacity is 250 m3/h), which translates into about 290 kWh/year of unnecessarily consumed electricity.

Applied solution:
After analyzing the technical feasibility as well as the economic and environmental benefits, the option chosen was to repair an old compressor of smaller size, with a capacity of 3 kW, which had stood idle for several years. A new duct supplying air from the device was also purchased. The problem of excessive noise (95 dB) was solved by moving the device to the technical rooms on the first floor, from where the noise does not reach the rooms where employees stay (this only required the purchase of a sufficiently long air duct).

Obtained benefits and effects of the implementation: 

  • Reduction in electricity consumption estimated at 2271 kWh/year (41.3 kWh/day), which indirectly translates into a reduction in the combustion of fuels for its generation, as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions of about 1.7 Mg/year.
  • Savings from reduced energy consumption: in the first year about PLN 1,120, in subsequent years: about PLN 1,800/year (at 2020 prices)
  • Improved employee comfort by changing the location of the compressor (less distance from the device and less time required to operate it)
  • Ability to use both the smaller compressor and the old one (a backup source of compressed air in case of the device failure)

photo by Ceramika Kornak

  • Report on the Cleaner Production Project No. 48.774, developed within the framework of the Cleaner Production Academy at Ceramika Kornak: “Modification of the compressed air network in the tile factory building”
  • Materials (including photos) provided by Ceramika Kornak

 Polish version:

This material has been subsidized by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association is solely responsible for its content.


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