Compressed Air Challenge®

The Compressed Air Challenge® (CAC) was initiated by Berkeley Lab (on behalf of the US DOE), Energy Center of Wisconsin, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy in 1997 to develop and provide resources that educate industry on the opportunities to increase net profits through compressed air system optimization. The CAC has since grown into a non-profit organization that includes U.S. and Canadian sponsorship from industrial users of compressed air, manufacturers and distributors of compressed air equipment and their associations, facility engineers and their associations, compressed air system consultants, state research and development agencies, energy efficiency organizations, utility companies, and the US DOE.
Compressed Air Challenge® Sponsors
US Department of Energy Office of Industrial Technologies
State of Illinois, Energy Department
Pacific Gas & Electric
NSTAR Electric and Gas Company
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Northeast Utilities Company
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
National Grid USA
Manitoba Hydro
 Iowa Energy Center
Energy Center of Wisconsin
Consortium for Energy Efficiency
Compressor Distributors Association
Compressed Air and Gas Institute
BC Hydro
 Association of Ingersoll-Rand Distributors

 Aimee McKane chairs the CAC Project Development Committee, which provides planning, guidance and new project development in support of the Board of Directors' policies and objectives.

The CAC accomplishments include the development of both Fundamentals of Compressed Air (1-day) and Advanced Management of Compressed Air(2-day) training workshops, publication with US DOE of Improving Compressed Air System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, publication of a 300-page technical reference - Best Practices for Compressed Air Systems, and identification of numerous case studies to illustrate the benefits of taking a systems approach. In addition, the CAC has developed Guidelines for Selecting a System Services Provider and Levels of Analysis to provide guidance to industrial users of compressed air who seek to optimize their compressed air systems. The CAC has also sponsored the development of the first university-level course offering on compressed air systems, which has resulted in a US DOE grant to develop a textbook.  Projects under development include training for plant production floor personnel and a modular offering of Fundamentals of Compressed Air.


CAC ChartAn independent evaluation of the CAC found that 76 percent of industrial users of compressed air who participated in the training went back to their plants and made changes that saved them energy and money. More than 5000 people have received CAC training to date. In 2004, the CAC plans to work on web-based training materials that will allow the CAC to have a greater impact on compressed air users.