Environmental Effects of Using Compressed Air
A growing concern about global warming and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) placing more stringent guidelines on CO2 Emissions has manufacturers looking for ways to improve their electrical usage. One of the area's manufacturers are looking at is expensive and inefficient compressed air systems. A compressed air system can be as low as 10%-15% in over-all efficiency. Here is an excerpt from the EPA.
The combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity is the largest single source of CO2 emissions in the nation, accounting for about 40% of total U.S. CO2 emissions and 33% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2009.
quoted from www.epa.gov
Through the years, cordless tools have continued to evolve with longer life battery technology, higher output torque capabilities and increased durability. These advances in cordless technology has given manufacturers an energy efficient alternative to air tools. In fact, in some cases a cordless tool can be up to 99% more energy efficient. To show the negative affect air tools have on the environment verse cordless tools we created an example application similar to what we currently see in plants today.
A manufacturer puts together 60 parts per hour and each part requires 2 fasteners. They are running 2 shifts, 8 hours each, 5 days a week and with two weeks of shutdown.
Damaging CO2 Emissions
CO2 Emissions for an air tool ultimately comes from energy consumed by the air compressor to run the tool and supply air leaks. Due to the inefficiency of compressed air a lot of energy is required, in order to generate this energy, power plants generate tons of CO2 Emissions. CO2 Emissions from a cordless tool are minuscule due to their efficient nature.
CO2 Emissions from an air tool using the above example.
Total kwh to run an air tool = 6,492 kw
CO2 Emissions from a Panasonic cordless tool using the above example.
Total kwh to run a cordless tool = 104.03 kwh
ONLY .068 Tons of
CO2 Emissions Per Year
Example – Wind Power Generation
Reduce your carbon footprint by 4.17 Tons running cordless tools.
What can we do to help reduce our CO2 Emissions?
- Use energy efficient tools.
- Understand and manage all equipments electrical usage better.
- Implement Best Practices such as starting a leak audit program.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle – Panasonic batteries can be recycled.
Consider running cordless assembly tools which are up to 99% more energy efficient than air tools and start saving $245.35 per tool (in this example application) by replacing the air tool and closing the valve at the head to eliminate any air leaks.