Air dryers play a vital role in maintaining the quality of compressed air by removing moisture and contaminants. Two common types of compressor air dryers used in industrial applications are desiccant dryers and refrigerant dryers. Understanding the differences between these two can help you choose the right one for your specific needs.

Desiccant Dryers: How They Work

Desiccant dryers, or Regenerative dryers, use a substance such as silica gel, molecular sieve or activated alumina (referred to as the desiccant material) to adsorb moisture from compressed air. This process involves passing the compressed air through a bed of desiccant, where any moisture is trapped. Desiccant dryers usually have a twin tower design to ensure continuous drying in one chamber while the other chamber has the moisture blown off and regenerated.

These dryers are well-suited for applications requiring extremely dry air, such as pharmaceuticals, electronics manufacturing, and food processing. They are also suitable for low flow rates and fluctuating demand.

As with all components in a compressed air system, desiccant dryers require regular maintenance and have higher operating costs as compared to refrigerant dryers.

Refrigerant Dryers: How They Work

Refrigerant dryers work by cooling the compressed air to a temperature where moisture condenses. The water can then be collected and drained from the system. The refrigeration circuit will then reheat the air to ensure it stays dry.

Refrigerant dryers are commonly used in general industrial applications where moderate dew points are acceptable. These include manufacturing, automotive, electronic, and textile applications.

One of the main advantages of refrigerant dryers is their excellent energy efficiency. They also have lower maintenance needs and are suitable for high-flow applications.

Benefits of Using Air Dryers

By removing moisture and pollutants from the air, air dryers offer plenty of benefits that contribute to the efficient and smooth running of equipment and systems, including the following:

If you are unsure which type of compressor air dryer is right for your application, contact CED Compressed Air Inc. today for expert advice. Our team is standing by to help you choose the best dryer to ensure the quality and reliability of your compressed air system.