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Kilcoy Pastoral saves thousands with an air compressor audit

Supplier: CAPS Australia By: CAPS Australia
23 October, 2013

Power expenses at Queensland agricultural company, Kilcoy Pastoral Company have been drastically reduced after the upgrade of the main compressor from Compressed Air and Power Solutions Australia (CAPS).

Since 1953 when Kilcoy was established, it has been serving the local butchers and developed itself to be the biggest beef processor in the country. The plant is situated 100km north-west of Brisbane, and 260,000 heads of cattle serve’s the company’s needs.

Kilcoy serves the domestic market of Australia with beef and in addition, it sells its processed beef products internationally. This is enabled by accreditation with AUS-MEAT, which approves it as a genuine exporter. The company is also one of the main employers in South-East Queensland.

Compressed Air Audits At Work

Energy Efficiency Services (EES), the compressed air auditing division of CAPS, audited Kilcoy’s energy use in 2011. After the audit, the results revealed that a considerable amount of energy could be saved if new energy efficient air compressors were installed at Kilcoy.

John Pears, sales engineer for CAPS in Queensland, said that the Ingersoll Rand Nirvana R160ne was the appropriate compressor to meet Kilcoy’s needs. This system is capable of supplying compressed air for the packaging units, meat processors, pumps and tools.

The features of this compressed air system are Variable Speed Drives (VSD) that have an advantage of a controller that adjusts the parameters that the system depends on for its operation. The system has a built-in diagnostic module as well as a calculator for energy saving. The system can also lower the consumption of energy by injecting atomized oil to the stream of compressed air. This lowers the amount of energy that is needed for compression. Maintenance of the system is very simple because all that the service technicians will need to do is remove the hinged door that covers the interiors of the Nirvana machine.

The Nirvana air compressors are supplied with an Ingersoll Rand premium efficiency system that lets customers enjoy the full capabilities of the system. VSD compressors are one of a kind because they use two-stage-airends that are not available in other systems. This enables it to provide 15% extra air unlike a single-stage compressor and still consumes the same energy. The range of Nirvana models come with a Hybrid Permanent Magnet (HPM) motor that has unique efficiency and reliability, with uninterruptible pressure control. The air compressor is fitted with a “soft start” feature, which enables the system to save power by switching off when it is not loaded.

A company will never suffer from downtimes or loss of production time. This is because the R160ne-A can operate continuously for 24 hours, seven day a week, without reducing the rate of its output. It is more effective in locations with high temperatures that rise up to 46 degrees centigrade. This makes Nirvana suitable for the known harsh environments in Australia.

No Air Pollution

Kilcoy CEO, Mr. Dean Goode revealed that the upgrade of the plant by installing the air compressor was also mean to boost the energy reduction program already in the process, which is meant to improve the performance of the plant while at the same time reducing carbon emissions. The company’s cost saving was boosted largely by the commissioning and installation of the air compressors and refrigerated dryer, plus the few filtration units. He pointed out that even though there was an increase in the usage of compressed air by almost 14%, power usage had reduced by 15% as a result of the air compressor technology.

Goode added that they will work hard to maintain and improve their reputation, and the upgrade is one of the efforts aimed at improvement of environmental upgrade.
National manager at EES, Quentin St Baker, said that on top of boosting performance, the Kilcoy upgrade would also extend the lifespan of the equipment in the company, which will eliminate production downtime.

His estimates were that energy savings that will result from the installation of the air compressor will go beyond 40%, and on the other hand, the cost of maintenance will reduce by about 30%.
Kilcoy got their funding through a ‘Low Carbon Grant’ from the Federal government that was facilitated by Origin Energy. The initial costs were covered by Low Carbon Australia when the equipments were bought. This enabled Kilcoy to start reaping the benefits of the air compressor sooner.

Mr. Goode said that the savings that will be experienced from the installation of the air compressor would recoup the investment of the company in just four years.