All air contains an amount of water vapor. When air is compressed, the concentration of water increases. This is similar to when your squeeze a sponge and force the water out.
In order to prevent problems in your Atlas Copco compressed air system, the air needs to be dried. The first steps of removing moisture out of the compressed air occurs by the compressors moisture separator and air cooler. In fact, it can remove 40-60% of the vaporized water. The remaining water is enough to damage your system, and requires further drying to ensure the quality of air.
Conditions That Affect Air Condensation
While condensation is a natural occurrence, there are factors that will increase the amount of water in your compressed air. Factors such as temperature, humidity, compressor size, and overall pressure can all result in an increase of water in your air. Summertime on Long Island brings heat and high humidity, which will increase water production. It is important to consider these factors when choosing your air dryer, as well as finding the right spot for your air compressor.
How Water Can Harm a Compressed Air System
Too much water in your compressed air can damage your facility and overall operations. Untreated condensation in your system can damage your machine components. Additionally, its possible that it will contaminate your end product.
In order to void maintenance costs and plant shutdowns, its recommended to keep your compressed air clean and dry.
4 Major Issues with Compressed Air Moisture:
- Corrosion of piping systems
- Rusting of equipment, due to the lubricant being washed away
- Freezing in control lines in cold weather
- Shortened lifespan of the air compressor
How to Dry Air Compressor Air
There are several ways to dry compressed air. Depending on specific requirements and the type of machines, the proper dryer will vary. Refrigerant dryers offer a reliable and cost effective solution.
Refrigerant Air Dryers
Refrigerated or refrigerant air dryers will cool the air. This allows the water to condense and be separated. After that, the compressed air is brought to room temperature, so that the pipe system does not form condensation.
Atlas Copco FD refrigerant dryers are efficient, and have energy-saving feature that will reduce costs. Due to their all-in-one design, they can be delivered and installed quickly, which minimizes downtime.
The FX Series of refrigerant dryers are simple, yet reliable units. They remove the water from the compressed air, which will increase the lifetime of your equipment and final product.
Disposing of the Condensate After Drying
The laws in New York for handling environmentally hazardous waste are continuously being created and made more stringent. If you are using an oil injected Atlas Copco air compressor, then you will need to properly dispose of condensate.
The waste oil that is found in the condensate cannot be drained into the sewage system or directly into the environment. An easy and cost-effective way to handle the waste oil is using an OSS Oil/Water Separator.