For years, the Safeway Milk Plant in Clackamas, Oregon has been at the cutting edge of energy efficiency in compressed air systems. Safeway Milk Plant in Clackamas, Oregon is a milk and cultured milk product producer. Their products are shipped throughout the Pacific Northwest.
In 2006, with the help of Rogers Machinery Company and energy efficiency programs available in Oregon, a compressed air energy assessment was conducted. Financial incentives helped Safeway become an early adopter of energy efficient air compressors by installing a 150 horsepower (hp), variable frequency drive (VFD) air compressor. The energy savings were verified and for the last 13 years, the system has been running 24/7.
Rogers Machinery has since increased their portfolio to include 2-stage VFD air compressors, touting more compressed air flow for less power in a well-insulated sound enclosure with a vertical air discharge. Energy Trust of Oregon offers financial incentives to increase efficiency if payback and other criteria can be met.
In 2019, another Compressed Air Energy Assessment was conducted at Safeway on the 150hp VFD system. After data collection, the analysis predicted an 18% reduction in energy usage. The system qualified for incentives, was purchased and installed in late 2020.
A Measurement and Verification analysis was again conducted by Rogers Machinery Engineers to tune the system, verify the results and prove the energy savings. The results showed a 6% reduction in compressed air consumption due to production equipment changes, and a 27% decrease in energy usage!
The existing backup fixed-speed compressors were removed and replaced by the aging VFD compressor.