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Compressed air drying: Membrane dryers, Refrigeration dryers and desiccant dryers

04/13/2018

As a manufacturer and supplier of all types of compressed air dryers, BEKO TECHNOLOGIES are in a unique position to give clients solutions and not just sell products. Let’s take a look at some of the ways compressed air can be dried.

Membrane Dryers: This family of dryers is the simplest way to dry compressed air. They work on a very simple principle using a membrane that will allow one size of particle through whilst preventing others from passing. In this way different molecule sizes can be selected and membranes matched to do the relevant task. There is no power required for a membrane dryer and the dew point is typically 20°C below the temperature of the incoming compressed air. There is a built-in filter to protect the membrane, which is sensitive to liquid water. The applications are typically for use on an OEM machines requiring clean dry air with a minimal space envelope but this product is underused and is a perfect point of use dryer which could for example take 3°C dew point air down to -17°C and avoid the purchase of a desiccant dryer.

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Refrigeration Dryers: These dryers are based on the fact that when air cools it will become saturated with water vapour and if further cooling takes place water will condense out. This together with the fact that air leaving compressors is 100% RH i.e. it cannot hold any more water and any cooling will cause condensation, totally unwelcome in the air network and should be controlled in the drying system. The family of fridge dryers has a range of from about 15 cfm to 5000 cfm and is also normally available air or water cooled. Higher pressure variants up to 50 bar are also available. The advantages of this type are that they are simple and robust and as such are a relatively small investment.

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Desiccant Dryers. Many industrial processes require a lower dew point than refrigeration can give. This could be for process reasons, hygroscopic materials in contact with compressed air, pneumatic conveying, instrumentation normally requires a minimum of -20°C pressure dew point. Other reasons could simply be that much of the process is outdoors and sensibly needs a better dew point than the lowest possible ambient temperature.

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This family of products has the biggest diversity and hence complexity. They all rely on a material, the “desiccant” which will attract water vapour onto its molecular structure without chemical change and can be regenerated for repeated use. The range of the product is from very small <10cfm to as big as you like tailor built products. There are many variations such as modular dryers which are designed to go through industrial doors and can be “stacked” to increase flow capability. Also for precisely engineered products for tough specifications such as the high humidity and temperatures of SE Asia or simply a limiting parameter such as roof clearance, where BEKO TECHNOLOGIES would design the vessels in accordance with the needs.

The key advantages of this product family are scope of the range, very low dew points to -70°C, zero purge products where no compressed air is lost and very good dew point stability. We have all the products means that we will get to the best solutions!

 

 

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