Most operators know there is more to filtration than the actual filter cost. Shipping, installation and lost production during filter replacement can be obvious and easily accounted for. When it comes to the indirect impact of better filtration, such as the value of reducing fouling against the cost of higher pressure drop, making a full evaluation is not as straight forward.
More and more operators are requesting filter systems be optimized to increase power output, minimize maintenance requirements, reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions, to maximize profitability.
Camfil, with extensive R&D facilities and field data, has developed a reliable software, the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) tool, for operators to evaluate total cost of ownership. This eliminates the guess work related to the indirect cost of air inlet filters, thus highlighting the major impact they have on the bottom line of the operator.
It is used by our engineers when designing inlet systems but is also used to make recommendations to operators on the optimal filter combination, with the highest profitability for their specific site and operations.
An in-depth LCC analysis considers all relevant variables: the environment and the pollutants in the air; impact on filter pressure drop and life; the cost of the filter, including installation and disposal; the impact of the filter on compressor degradation and heat rate; the engine type; configuration; duty cycle; availability requirements; and economic value. Multiple scenarios and filter configurations can be compared easily for operators to select the optimal configuration and efficiency levels.
High efficiency filters in combination with low pressure drop results in low operating and maintenance requirements while ensuring high power output from the turbomachinery. Other important factors that influence how a filter performs include the media type, the quantity of media – or number of pleats, the filter shape and its construction.
Fouling modifies the blades effective airfoil shape, thereby increasing drag and reducing the compressor efficiency. As the compressor degrades, heat rate increases, and equipment burns more fuel to produce the same MW.
Higher efficiency filters contribute to decreased fouling, leading to fewer maintenance requirements and increased profitability.
NB.: It’s important to always look at the discharged efficiency over the initial efficiency.
Many operators worry about higher efficiency due to the rise in pressure drop (dP). Pressure drop impacts overall profitability since the engine has to work harder to move the air.
Filter construction and media type are key influencers in improving pressure drop, and modern filter technology such as extended depth filters allow operators to go up 3 filter classes without a dP impact.
A higher dust holding increases the filter life, resulting in fewer replacement filter requirements, and more production from fewer shut downs.
Camfil has been a pioneer in designing low average pressure drop air filters in all filter classes for over 50 years. Many people assume that the filter efficiency is the largest contributor to initial pressure drop, however, it is the actual design of the filter that has the main impact.
The Camfil Life Cycle Cost software allows the operator to customize the different variables specifically to his site and running conditions to get a total life cycle cost with the current air inlet filters. The operator can then compare the total cost of ownership to other alternatives, such as HEPA filtration, to identify the optimal solution.