Refrigerant Air Dryers – What You Need to Know
Any commercial or industrial facility that uses air-operated equipment and tools needs a properly working compressed air dryer. This is to remove water vapour from the compressed air. It also prevents condensation from getting in the way of your sensitive equipment’s operation or worse, producing condensation that can cause rusting.
Business owners choose to use refrigerated compressed air dryers because they have lower initial cost. Additionally, their maintenance and operation costs are lower, too. And though they have a more limited dew point capability compared to other dryer systems like chemical dryers, they are also less susceptible to damage that is caused by oil in the air stream. Note, however, that thorough filtration is still highly recommended.
Refrigerated dryers are recommended for facilities that require high-performing air dryers in extreme working conditions like extremely low or high-pressure environments. Since they are energy-efficient and they are able to remove most moisture from the air even without using compressed air, refrigerated dryers are favoured by facilities that don’t produce products that are water-sensitive.
Non-cycling refrigerated dryers are also cost-effective and can effectively remove moisture from compressed air systems through a two-stage heat exchanger system to keep dew points stable. They are highly valued due to their minimal dew point swings and also because their compressor operates all the time. Non-cycling refrigerated dryers, however, do not save energy at partial air flow so they are better for systems that regularly run.
Cycling dryers are the most common type of refrigerated compressed air dryer. They are also called thermal mass dryers. They have a three-stage heater exchanger system. They use either a solid or a liquid refrigerant to cool down the air passage in the heat exchanger.
They are used when system conditions are often less than full load, as cycling dryers save energy during partial or zero air flow conditions. They turn off when they reach the desired temperature and turn back on when the temperature gets higher than that.
This kind of system also makes cycling refrigerated dryers among the most efficient compressed air dryers now. Take note, however, that they are more liable to dew point swings. They are also bulkier than non-cycling counterparts.
When you are looking for the right compressed air dryer, make sure that you know the pros and cons of each type so you’ll be able to make a good and educated purchase.