Dust collection - bigger is better?

So I've been thinking about dust collection a bit lately. At work we have a big 2 stage system with a bunch of bags. This thing runs all day and I'm sure it sucks up some serious juice. Even setting aside from some glaring inefficiencies in our duct work (don't get me started), it seems like a pretty wasteful use of energy.
Now let's cut to a smaller shop - say 4,000sf or so. In my dream world I'd have an Ecogate system with the power control unit to vary the CFM of my blower, but let's be a bit more realistic... Given the relatively low cost of small cyclones with excellent filters, would it be more efficient from an electrical efficiency standpoint to have some of those hooked up to a few machines each than it would be to power up a large centralized unit every time? I'm ingnoring the pain in the ass factor of emptying a bunch of different cyclones. I don't even know where I'm going with this, but it's been kicking around in my head and it needed to be out.
The more I read what I'm writing the more I think a top quality system with sealed ductwork and excellent dust shrouds is the way to go. Leaky duct work is one of my pet peeves. That, and guys who don't unscrew the clamp handles when they're done.
JP
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Jay Pique wrote:
| would it be more efficient from an electrical efficiency standpoint | to have some of those hooked up to a few machines each than it | would be to power up a large centralized unit every time?
From an electrical efficiency standpoint, it'd be most efficient to have a setup that exactly matched DC characteristics for each machine and minimized the length of the ducting.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Ahhh...it's so nice when something is stated clearly and succinctly. Thank you. JP
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You'd have to do a survey of your machine use. How many are in use at any given time? Running a large system for one or two machines is not very efficient, but if you are running most machines most of the time, it is more efficient.
Once you know hte actual machine use, you can use the power consumption of one large or the smaller groups to determine the actual cost.
It is common for manufacturing to have lighting, compressors, boilers, etc, come on in stages as needed when there are many variables.
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