• Desiccant Dryers vs. Refrigerated Dryers

    Compressed air can be used by a variety of groups, ranging from industrial outlets to smaller commercial venues. Air compression is a process that takes air from the nearby environment and pressurizes it. Expanding that compressed air produces energy. One of the problems with this process is that everything in the air is compressed, including any unwanted materials like dirt or water. Condensation is one of the biggest problems a compressor system will face. Any water carried in the air is also compressed. This water can condense and collect at various points in the system. This excess water can cause significant damage to equipment or product if not removed.

    One of the best ways to deal with condensate is to use industrial air dryers. Two common types of these are desiccant dryers and refrigerated dryers. These components remove any water from the air compressor system, and are necessary parts of the system. Some of the complications air dryers help prevent include corrosion, freezing, and tainting the air supply. All these things may damage the system or product, and cost businesses a great deal of time and money.

    The refrigerated air dryer is a type of dryer that cools the air supply to approximately 38 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point water vapor is condensed to a liquid and can be expelled from the system. This is all done in a contained environment.

    There is a variety of refrigerated air drying systems. Cycling refrigerated dryers turn on in response to detected loads. These may use a multiple-stage heat exchanging method. Non-cycling refrigerated drying systems use a dual-stage heat exchanging system. To prevent freeze-ups and keep a constant temperature throughout the drying system a hot gas bypass valve is used on the refrigeration side.

    Another kind of air dryer is the desiccant dryer. This type of dryer pushes the air through a system of highly absorbent desiccants. As a result of this method, any moisture that is in the air gets sucked up and removed. Desiccant dryers can remove more moisture and produce dew points below freezing. A percentage of inlet compressed air is used to “purge” the moisture, regenerating the desiccant.

    There are also several types of desiccant dryers. Heated purge uses an external blower and heater to dryer off line desiccant bed. Heatless purge systems use compressed air to remove excess moisture from desiccants once they are saturated, and constantly cycle through wet and dry sets.

    Since they remove harmful condensate, air dryers help dramatically increase the efficiency and lifetime of compressed air systems. They also allow regulation of the air, ensuring that the air in your system is clean. Digital controls and sensors (dew point monitors can be built into air dryer systems providing quick easy indication of moisture content. These recent advances allow more contaminants to be removed than ever before, ensuring that all industries using compressor systems have the driest air available. Whether they are desiccant or refrigerated, dryers are sure to be a great addition to your system.

  • How to Safely Drain Your Industrial Air Compressor Tank

    Compressed air is vital to every production line or manufacturing facility in the world. If there is an alternative to using compressed air to blow down work stations, manipulate production line segments, power pneumatic tools, and hundreds of other large and small functions, it hasn't been invented yet.

    Industrial compressed air systems, or pneumatics as it is called, can best be understood if we realize that pneumatics is very similar to a well pressure system you would find in a typical house. Both consist of a device to move product, a tank to provide a storage, and a pressure reservoir. The water system uses a pump; the pneumatic system, uses a compressor.

    Both work under the same principle that in order to have reasonable even pressure flow at the end of the air line or water faucet, compressing alone will not be enough. Compression will actually get some pressurized product to the work station or faucet, but it would be too erratic. The only time there would be line pressure is when the pump or compressor is running. Imagine if every time you turned the water on in your shower it would start as a trickle and slowly build to adequate pressure, or every time you needed to turn on a work station you needed to wait with the valve open until the pressure built to adequate levels.

    A water system pressure tank or a compressor tank solves this problem by providing a reservoir of pressurized product ready to use. In the case of the industrial compressed air system, condensation from humid air will cause build up of water in the tank and if not drained can cause water in the air lines. This will cause a malfunction of pneumatic equipment and should be avoided. Fortunately the remedy is as simple as opening a drain valve at the bottom of the pressure tank. The drain valve will allow the contents of the tank to escape under pressure so it is important that the valve has enough line to safely direct the moisture and air to an area where it can safely be eliminated. If the system has been shutdown for any length of time, draining of the tank should be the first step in any start-up process.

    Some systems utilize an air dryer to reduce moisture from entering the system and some have an automatic blow-down system that opens the drain valve periodically to drain the moisture from the tank and maintain dry compressed air to the point of use. Both are valuable components in maintaining the viability of dry usable compressed air to be used by industries everywhere.

  • Making Your Compressed Air System as Energy Efficient as Possible

    Air compressor systems are widely used for a variety of tasks in industrial applications. However, the energy some can provide is quite limited or works only in given circumstances. For individuals who are planning to make use of air compressors and invest in them, learning how to make the energy produced more efficient can be advantageous in the long run. One should realize that the best way to conserve energy and create the most valuable pneumatic energy -while spending less- is through simple yet thorough analysis and observation. Using two simple effective methods, elements of the system that are not performing up to par can be identified and corrected. Here are some tips on how you can improve the energy efficiency of your compressed air systems and optimize your business operations for long term application. Not only will it enable you to guarantee optimized energy supplies but also allows you to cut a significant amount from your expenses.

    Start off by listing all the air applications and their design, cfm, and pressure. Once determined, you can then determine the power consumption prior to making any system alterations. This procedure can be done using a KWH meter. The next step is to determine and keep track of leaks. Most of these are simple to find because they are audible without the use of any special instruments.

    Once all leaks have been found you can then start the necessary repairs. Ideally you should begin with the largest air leaks first and then work on the smaller ones. Installing a flow meter on the main line can also be useful in gaining additional information on the savings from a cfm endpoint. Another useful tip is to install an isolation valve on the main line to every parcel of machinery and equipment so that the whole machine can be taken out of the compressed air circuit whenever it is not in use.

    Factory engineers must also make it a point to analyze whether compressed air is the best energy source to apply for your business operations. It is important to be aware of the energy used by the system and if there is any air being lost. Installing added gauges and flow monitors within your shop can also provide a clearer knowledge and a more solid understanding of factory applications.

  • Upgrading Your Compressed Air System

    Air compressors presently account for approximately 15% of power required in the typical commercial facility. Many times, a great deal of that power is used in an inefficient manner due to an outdated air compressor system that has several leaks, equipment that is not operating properly, and poor quality control checks of the air compressor system. These factors combined can total to a significant amount of money wasted on the energy bill throughout the year.

    The good news is there are many possibilities with regard to cost savings that can be found in most all air compressor systems. Along with conserving electricity and decreasing operating expenses, a fully operational, powerful air compressor system will be able to increase the overall performance of the facility, ultimately allowing for a greater level of quality control, greatly reduce the noise levels in the facility due to less leaks in the system, and enhance overall system operations as a result of doing away with needing a supplementary unit through enhanced functionality.

    If your primary compressed air system pressure is consistently decreasing, together with reduced air flow generally, it is a sign that you may want to upgrade your air compressor system. Should you be limited regarding air, cranking up pressure to compensate for the limited air flow is definitely the improper course of action.

    To find out if you are developing a pressure or rate issue, be sure to discuss the problem with a knowledgeable HVAC technician. Generally speaking, you need to decrease your compressor pressure to a minimum to take full advantage of air flow and conserve electricity. This can be achieved in an economical way when your air compressor is upgraded. You should definitely decrease the pressure gradually over time, in small increments to make certain that a pressure-decrease will not cause issues . By decreasing pressure, you lessen the quantity of lost air coming from air leaks, consequently decreasing demand.

    Upgrading your compressed air system can go a long way in helping to getting rid of leaks throughout the system. These leaks can lead to dramatic increases in operating costs and also cause equipment to fail prematurely as well. Additionally, switching to a variable speed compressor will use less electricity overall. It is crucial to have your compressed air system properly maintained and upgraded before it is too late, in order to keep equipment operating at peak performance levels. Regularly change the oil on your upgraded equipment to ensure your compressor system has a long operating life.

  • When You Need to Service Your Air Compressor

    The proper maintenance of an air compressor is very important in order to keep it in top working condition. It is a considerable and important investment, and adequate care should be taken to keep it in an excellent working condition.

    One way to notice when your compressor needs to be serviced is by doing routine checks on all system aspects. By performing these checks, any malfunction component of the industrial air compressor will be brought to your attention. This way, you can catch any problems with your air compressor system early, before they become a much bigger and more expensive problem. By taking some preventive measures and performing these checks, you can ensure that your air compressor remains in a good working order.

    For example, some certified air compressors will have a safety valve for the automatic release of the air to maintain the air pressure at safe levels. This valve should be checked on a regular basis, and the safety valve should also be cleaned regularly to remove any blockages and stop corrosion. By checking these valves, you will know when your industrial air compressor is not working properly and needs to be serviced.

    Modern industrial air compressors will have a microprocessor or computer control with an LCD display. These controllers assist users in monitoring operating parameters and indicating when maintenance is needed. Operating temperatures, oil levels, and pressure settings are important parameters to monitor regularly.

    It is necessary to check the oil level of the compressor on a regular basis, as this oil ensures the proper lubrication of the machine. All instructions concerning the air compressor, its parts, and the tools used to service it should be followed as closely as possible. Additionally, someone who owns an air compressor should adhere to any periodic check up and maintenance schedule as recommended by the manufacturer.

    In order to guarantee the efficiency of an air compressor, it needs to be routinely and correctly cared for. There are many reputable companies that can keep your air compressor in an excellent working condition with their preventive maintenance services. These companies check your air compressor for any deficiencies, worn out parts, and then can rectify them immediately. They also check that the right coolant, filters and parts are used as to avoid expensive repairs later. You can definitely keep your repair costs low by giving proper and regular maintenance to your air compressor.