Reducing energy costs in feed mills

by Arvin Donley
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Air compressors

Stark said one of the easiest ways to save money in a feed mill to identify areas where air pressure can be reduced. He said millers should examine each piece of equipment that is operated on air pressure and determine the minimum air pressure requirement. He said installing a reserve air tank for times when the mill is running at peak demand can allow equipment to run at a lower psi (pounds per square inch) the rest of the time.

“I almost invested $30,000 on a new air compressor for the receiving area until I had a consultant come in and say if I just put a $3,000 air reserve tank in that area the problem would be solved,” he said. “Sure enough, we put in the reserve air tank and the air compressor could actually keep up because we had that extra reserve there. That saved me about $25,000.”

He also emphasized the importance of checking for air compressor leaks. “My best advice is to turn the air compressor on during the weekends (with the equipment off) and listen for the hissing,” Stark said. “If you look at the cost of a 1/8-inch leak over a half-inch leak in an air compressor over time on an annual basis, it adds up in a hurry.”