Estimated time to read: 5 minutes
Minimizing moisture is essential for operating any air compressor. If there's too much water vapor in your system, you could encounter corrosion, microorganisms, and other quality control concerns. To combat these potential issues, most air compressors come with pre-installed aftercooler moisture removal systems. You can also install equipment, like a refrigerant dryer.
On top of what's mentioned above, you'll usually need to meet air quality standards for your industry. Depending on your ISO 8573-1 class, you'll be required to keep compressed air below a certain pressure dew point (PDP).
A refrigerant or "fridge dryer" is the most common type of equipment used for removing moisture from compressed air. They're capable of achieving a PDP of around 4 °C, which generally works for most applications. If you require a lower PDP, a desiccant dryer is better suited. Read our article on that option to learn more.
Below you'll find information on how a refrigerant dryer works. You'll also find considerations for purchasing one, including environmental impact.
Through an air-to-heat exchanger and air-to-refrigerant exchanger, refrigerant dryers use condensation to remove moisture. This process occurs by cooling warm wet air from the compressor. Refrigerant dryers can be both air-cooled and water-cooled.
As the temperature drops, air moisture condenses and is drained. To maintain effective draining, there's intelligent drain discharge systems. They use electronic sensors to remove condensate without wasting any air.
Compressed air is then reheated to room temperature in the air-to-heat exchanger, lowering the PDP. This step prevents the formation of condensation on the pipes while reducing the temperature of incoming compressed air.
To be effective, the relative humidity of the compressed air should be below 50%. In order to support you in monitoring the drying process, there's the optional PDP indicators. These devices are equipped with a PDP alarm, measure dew point, and indicate fan status.
The biggest factor for choosing any dryer set up is air quality. You'll also want to consider installation, reliability, a stable dew point, and quality components. Of course energy usage and efficiency are also key factors to keep operational costs down.
One of the main benefits of a refrigerant dryer is that they can be installed inside of many rotary screw compressor models. This makes for an excellent choice when saving space is essential. In addition, there's vertically stacked external models to minimize overall footprint.
Our CDX refrigerant dryers come with cost-saving features while ensuring long-term reliability. The build quality ensures long service intervals, and there's very little maintenance required. Also, the latest generation models are equipped with a scroll refrigerant compressor and micro-channel condenser to minimize energy usage.
Ceccato Aria Compressa's CDX refrigerant dryers are equipped with a timer drainer or with an indicator of condensate level: this drainer collects the vapour in the form of water and drains the system without any air wastage.
Since refrigerant dryers use refrigerant gasses, their environmental footprint is something worthy of pointing out. Our CDX dryers use R513A and R410A gas. This means while operating this Ceccato refrigerant dryer, there's no impact on the ozone layer. In particular, R410A has a Low Global Warming Potential (GWP), and is 20-30% more efficient with a rotary refrigerant compressor (compared to piston).
Regardless of which type of refrigerant dryer you choose, you'll benefit from an easy installation and high reliability. These machines are well worth the investment for protecting your air compressor set-up, while meeting quality standards.
If you're ready to explore Ceccato's offerings, get in touch. Our team is happy to help you navigate what's available. We look forward to hearing from you.