We have all heard the saying, “You don’t build a house from the roof down.” When it comes to a compressed air system, the same can be said about the dryer(s). In both cases you’d be right; I don’t think there’s one of us that could argue the importance of a roof or a dryer for their respective jobs – to keep the water out!
The trouble with a compressed air system is that the dryer is often a neglected piece of equipment. Looking at a sample size of the last 88 plants audited for compressed air efficiency by Motion Industries Energy Services Team in the last 24 months, we found that 53 facilities had at least one failed dryer on-site. Keep in mind, most plants taking advantage of an air audit are those that are taking a more progressive approach in managing their compressed air systems. Yet in 60% of this sample size, an abundance of water was wreaking havoc on the pneumatic systems in those plants.
Figure 1 illustrates how much water can condense in a system based on the type of dryer, or method of moisture removal, in a compressed air system. Calculations were done assuming 1,000 CFM, or approximately 250 hp at full load.