All ambient air used in any compression process continues some moisture vapour, even if it’s not visible to the naked eye.
Removing that vapour is crucial. Water and condensation can cause all sorts of problems, and using an air dryer for compressors avoids air contamination, equipment erosion and reduced air output quality. This is where air compressor maintenance services may come in handy.
An air dryer for compressor tools is essential to remove all of the moisture once the air has been compressed.
The exact tolerance level for water inside compressed air depends on the application – and is called the dew point.
That metric identifies how dry the compressed air must be, or how dry it is and therefore whether it is suitable for the intended processes – the aim is for all compressed air to have zero moisture since it can quickly cause rust!
An air dryer for compressors is a simple, effective solution.
Let’s look into this part a little more to help you work out which air dryer you need for your compressor.
Do I Need an Air Dryer for Compressor Equipment?
In short, yes, you do!
If water vapour collects inside an air compressor or contaminates the air quality produced, it can cause no end of havoc:
When you consider that having an inefficient air dryer for compressors can impact your tools, machinery, walls, and manufactured products, it’s easy to see why an air dryer is so valuable.
The issue with water is that it gets everywhere, inside your machine and out.
Having dampness in your air compressor motor and valves can cause it to decline in performance rapidly and potentially break down altogether.
Fitting a new air dryer for compressors is, therefore, a very low cost when compared to delayed production, machinery repairs, and fixing the impact of mould and rust.
What Size Air Dryer Do I Need?
Given the importance of your compressor air dryer, you’ll need a good fit.
Dryers that are too large for the compressor can cause wear and tear, and having one too small causes inadequate air quality production, so it’s essential to get this right.
When choosing the correct air dryer for compressor equipment, consider:
- How dry does the air need to be – what is the maximum dew point?
- What is the air temperature running into the compressor through the inlet?
- How much pressure will the compressor send through the air dryer?
- What are the ambient environmental conditions – temperature, height, etc.?
It’s also wise to think about the sizing of air dryers for compressors in terms of CFM usage.
A desiccant dryer will use up between two and twenty per cent of the CFM, and so you’ll need a suitable size air dryer to ensure you mitigate any CFM lost during the purge cycle.
Some businesses opt to upgrade their air compressor while replacing an air dryer or retaining an existing air dryer and upgrading a compressor to match.
Choosing the Right Air Dryer for Compressor Equipment
Air dryer sizing depends on:
- Ambient temperature
- Incoming air temperature
- Compressor capacity
The larger the compressor’s horsepower, the larger the CFM needs to be on the air dryer.
Temperature is also key, and you’ll need a high-temperature dryer for any ambient temperatures above about 37 °C.
While that might seem very hot, if you work in an industrial setting with piston compressors, these can heat up very quickly and require a high-temp dryer to cope.
What is a Refrigerated Air Dryer?
In cooler conditions, a refrigerated air dryer for compressors may be more suitable. You’ll find these dryers in:
- Food production
- Automotive shops
Refrigerated air dryers can be cycling and non-cycling, depending on what they are being used for. This dryer is also energy-efficient and the most popular option.
What Are Desiccant Air Dryers Used For?
Finally, a desiccant dryer is another choice and can reach low-pressure dew points, even at very cold temperatures.
Desiccant dryers are commonly found in cooler environments and avoid ice building up in pipes and impacting applications. They’re also used for:
- Mould prevention
- Pharmaceutical manufacture
- Textile production
- Food manufacturing
In all of these circumstances, keeping the air as dry as possible is essential. The desiccant material in the dryer effectively absorbs water vapour and ensures the compressed air is free of humidity.
Almost every air compression application requires an air dryer, so it’s all about determining the most suitable dryer for your functionality and selecting an air dryer that will slot in with your compression processes.