June, 15 | 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Track 1B | Commissioning and Auditing

Tim Dugan

Compression Engineering Corporation | President

Presentation Title:

Industrial Compressed Air Energy Management, Success Stories From 20 Years in the Pacific NW


Comprehensive, robust energy management is at the core of every successful, large industrial compressed air project. Without it, savings are less, even negative, and savings retention is poor. I have seen hundreds of projects in the Pacific NW, so that perspective is ground-up. Pieces don't make a whole. Frequently, they contradict one another in a real system, invalidating both efficiency and reliability. Good principles and best practices for improving parts or aspects of a system are being promoted in a piecemeal way by a variety of actors, leaving much of the savings on the table. Utility programs are often unaware of the savings erosion that is happening, because their program design can unintentionally follow the piecemeal approach or discourage investment in “non-energy” items that actually keep savings happening longer.

The good news is that there are "meta-practices", system-level best practices, which can be applied at a total system to any size and shape of system. These principles can maximize initial savings, and keep them over a 10-20yr life cycle of a real system, with equipment, staff, and production changes. Projects that use them generated high initial savings that keep giving and giving.

This presentation will discuss common piecemeal failings, outline comprehensive system design principles that work, and highlight several large compressed air projects that have lasted 10 years or more.


Tim Dugan is a mechanical engineer, a registered Professional Engineer in OR, WA and CA. He has 20 years of independent industrial compressed air, process air, vacuum system and pumping systems consulting and 13 years of compressed air package design at an OEM. Tim is considered one of the top compressed air consultants for many utility energy efficiency programs in the Western and Mountain states, with a growing national and international reputation. His direct industrial clients include major manufacturers and processing companies in a huge variety of industries, from Pulp and Paper to Aerospace. His assessment work has identified over 100,000,000 kWh/yr of savings, and verified a large percentage of actual savings. His project work includes metering design, baseline analysis, mechanical and controls design, energy efficiency simulation, and commissioning of all shapes and sizes compressed air systems.

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