When using air compressors, there are many variables that are integral to the quality and effectiveness of your compressed air. When dryer air is necessary, being able to constantly and accurately monitor dew points can be a critical factor to your operation.
Dew point is the temperature in which water vapor in your compressed air is no longer vapor, and changes to a liquid form (condensation). As your compressor is compressing air, the stored air can become very warm, meaning that it contains a lot of water vapor. As the air cools down, that vapor will turn to condensation. If enough condensation forms, you now have free-flowing water through your air lines. Having water in your compressed air is never a good thing, but depending on the application, it can become catastrophic.
Large amounts of water in your compressor and/or compressor air lines can cause bacteria or mold to form, as well as pushing moisture into your compressed air. This renders the compressed air useless in most applications. Food & beverage companies cannot use this air to package or enhance food products. Pharmaceutical or medical companies cannot use contaminated air or humid air in hospitals or for any medicinal applications. Body shops can’t use air that contains water to paint vehicles because it ruins the final product. Because condensation typically ruins compressed air for most applications, it is important to make sure you monitor your unit’s dew point as it is in operation.
How Do I Prevent My Compressed Air From Reaching Its’ Dew Point?
In order to monitor your compressor’s dew point and keep the air dry, an air dryer is often used for most compressed air applications. Dryers can be integrated (built-in) to the compressor, or they can be standalone units. Air dryers will lower the dew point of your compressed air, making it more difficult for the air to condense vapor into water. This keeps your air dry and your piping and hoses free of any moisture and potential for bacteria.