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 fridge 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 3-10 °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 fridge dryer works. You'll also find considerations for purchasing one, including environmental impact.
Through an air-to-heat exchanger and air-to-refrigerant exchanger, fridge 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%. To help you monitor the drying process, there's optional PDP indicators. These devices come with a PDP alarm, measure dew point, and indicate fan status.
You may come across non-cycling or cycling when researching fridge dryers. Offered by Ceccato, non-cycling dryers are the most budget friendly option. The main difference between the two types are in how the motor runs.
Non-cycling dryers operate continuously, regardless of air load demand. This standard equipment is relatively easy to install and operate, and is usually paired with a rotary screw compressor. There's also a high-temperature option for piston compressors.
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.
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.
Since fridge dryers use refrigerant gasses, it's worth pointing out their environmental impact. Our CDX dryers use R513A and R410A gas. This means while operating this Ceccato fridge 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 fridge 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.