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Double transmission double expansion technology as a method for reducing energy losses associated with oversizing of industrial compressed air systems

Panel: 4. Technology, products and systems

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Dominik Grybos, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
Jacek Leszczynski, AGH Univeristy of Science and Technology, Poland


Compressed Air Systems (CAS) are successfully used in industrial processes and production lines in almost all sectors due to low investment costs, durable construction, high power density, etc. The biggest disadvantages of these systems are high operational costs due to the very low energy efficiency (10–20 %). Such large energy losses in these systems significantly affect the economic aspects of the industrial sectors and the natural environment. Energy losses in compressed air systems can be differentiated by their place of occurrence, i.e. in the compressor, in pneumatic lines and in pneumatic machines. Compressed air energy losses in pneumatic machines account for approximately 20–30 % of all losses in CAS. They result from oversizing of those machines and process parameters. Such losses lead to significantly higher energy consumption in CAS compared to the actual energy demand for a given production task.

There are several solutions to improve efficiency in final pneumatic machines, but neither have been implemented on an industrial scale. In this work we would like to introduce the Double Transmission Double Expansion (DTDE) technology. This technology is based on the accumulation of air exhausted from the pneumatic machine.

Then accumulated exhaust air is used in another pneumatic machine and, for example, converted into electricity. We present results from a lab-scale demonstration unit consisting of a 1 kW prototype of this technology connected to a pneumatic machine. The paper also presents achievable energy benefits from the usage of this technology.

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