Refrigerated Air Dryers

Moisture can run through an air compressed air system’s hoses and into the unit, which can cause damage that can be quite costly, especially from repairs. Fortunately, refrigerated air dryers are units that remove moisture from compressed air systems. In order to maintain a compressed air system, installation of an appropriately sized refrigerated air dryer is necessary.

A common entry point for moisture is the air compressor’s inlet air filter. Standard air compressors can convert seven cubic feet of air to 100 psig per single cubic foot, making any water vapor in the air also compressed to that size.
Water that winds up contained in compressed air comes in different forms, including liquid, mist and vapor or gas. A general purpose filter can be used with a compressed air system in order to remove the liquid water within the system, with the remaining water that is either a mist or vapor being removed by the refrigerated air dryer.

Refrigerated air dryers also prevent equipment contamination located downstream from the air compressor. Water contamination can cause moving parts to fail, with the holding capacity of moisture in the air reduced by fifty percent when the air temperature drops at fifty degree levels. This can lead to costly repairs.

The refrigerated air dryer’s process begins with the use of an air-to-air heat exchanger, which first cools the compressed air. The heat exchanger condenses small amounts of moisture by pre-cooling incoming air and sending it to an air-to-refrigerant exchanger, which is cooled even further by use of a liquid refrigerant. Remaining moisture is condensed into a liquid that is drained out of the system. Air is finally heated inside the heat exchanger to prevent the hose’s pipe from sweating.

When searching for the right refrigerated air dryer, keep in mind of the pressure dew point. The pressure dew point is a temperature required in order for water vapor or mist to condense into liquid. The type of pressure dew point class most often used is a Class 4. In order to determine the pressure dew point class and temperature requirements, have a test of equipment performed.