Choosing the Right Heat of Compression Dryers to Maximize Efficiency

Everything You Need to Know about Heat of Compression Dryers

The Compressed Air Blog, February 15, 2018

Compressed air systems can be sensitive to even the smallest amounts of moisture. The presence of liquid in the system can cause premature rusting, remove lubrication in production equipment and cause manufacturing processes to malfunction. To achieve energy efficiency and optimal results, it’s important to select the right dryer for your applications. The heat of compression dryers are a commonly used solution. 

What are heat of compression dryers?

Heat of compression dryers are regenerative desiccant dryers that use the heat generated during compression in an oil-free compressor to accomplish desiccant regeneration.

What are the different types of heat of compression dryers?

  1. Rotating drum

In a rotating drum desiccant dryer, the compressor’s main output stream is directed into a drum with desiccant material. The desiccant collects the air’s moisture, which dries the air stream to a pressure dew point as low as -50°F.

Three-quarters of the drum work continuously to remove moisture from the compressor’s mainstream of air, while the remaining quarter drives off accumulated moisture from its side stream of air. Because the air stream is very hot, the heat evaporates the moisture captured by the desiccant, which then regenerates the desiccant material. The side stream of air is eventually recaptured, cooled and merged back into the main air stream.

  1. Twin tower

Twin tower heat of compression dryers operate similar to other twin tower, heat-activated regenerative desiccant dryers where one tower is drying air as the other tower is being regenerated. However, twin tower heat of compression dryers  regenerate desiccant in the saturated tower by means of heat of compression. It uses heat of compression in all of the hot air leaving the discharge of the air compressor. The total air flow then passes through the aftercooler before entering the drying tower.

Heat of compression dryer advantages include:

  • Low electrical installation costs
  • Low power costs
  • Minimum use of floor space
  • No loss of purge air on single drum-type dryers and certain models of twin tower-type models

Heat of compression dryers can offer significant benefits, but always consult a compressed air expert to see if they are appropriate for your end uses.

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