How to select an air drying system for an air compressor?

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How to select an air drying system for an air compressor?

In many applications, having dry compressed air is essential. If moisture particles remain in the air, this might damage your installations and cause oxidation and contamination. Therefore it’s paramount to make use of the right air drying system for your air compressor. In this article we’ll discuss how to find out which air drying system is ideal for your application, and how to set it up.

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What air drying system is ideal for my purposes?

Mark air drying system for air compressor

As we’ve told you before, there are several kinds of air dryers for air compressors. They all have their specific advantages and technical specifications. To make an educated choice, you should have the following information on your air compressor: 

  • What it will be used for;
  • What the dew point is*;
  • The required temperature you want your compressed air to have;
  • How often you will use the compressed air in the specific process;
  • Where your air compressor is stationed.

*The dew point is the moment when the air reaches a temperature that leads to condensation and moisture saturation.

General tips concerning air dryers and compressors

Before we delve into the different types of air dryers, we’ll give you some general tips on keeping your air compressor moisture- and contaminant-free

  • Use a filtration system that cleans the air before it enters the compressor, a so-called intake filter. This way you’ll minimize the risk of contamination. 
  • Use a storage system for compressed air: If you need a cache of compressed air you can always store it in a separate tank. That way the chances of contamination are also reduced.
  • Schedule regular (preventive) maintenance: Keeping your air compressor in good shape means checking every aspect of it regularly. A good monitoring system will also prevent your compressor from failing or from having a diminished output.

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What kind of air drying system is ideal for my purposes?

For more information on the specific air dryers and their working functions, read this article

1. Refrigerating air dryers

This is one of the most popular air dryers on the market. They offer the following advantages and disadvantages:

+ They are quite cheap and easy to set up
+ Maintenance costs are low
+ They can resist oil particles in the air
- They are not resistant to freezing temperatures
- They have a minimal dew point capacity

2. Desiccant air dryers

These dryers are used in a wide range of industries, like health care, the food industry, material processing and even in ice rinks. The pros and cons of desiccant dryers: 

+ They have low dew points
+ They can be operated at a reasonable price
+ They can be used in remote and dangerous places
- Installation costs are quite high
- The desiccant material has to be replaced every three to five years
- They are not resistant to oil particles in the air

3. Chemical air dryers

These types of dryers use specific chemicals to remove moisture. This has the following implications: 

+ There is little monitoring needed
+ They are no moving parts (only a bed of chemicals)
+ The set-up isn’t all that expensive
- Replacing the chemicals regularly can be expensive
- You’ll need high quality filtration to ensure no chemicals remain in the compressed air
- Disposal of the chemicals is needed, and can be costly and time consuming

4. Membrane air dryers

These dryers use a membrane that separates the moisture from the air particles. That has these results: 

+ They require no electricity
+ They operate more quiet than other air dryers
+ They are easy to maintain
- Consistently, clean air (free of oil and other contaminants) is needed
- A prefilter is needed so the membrane won’t get blocked

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Can we help you find the right compressed air dryer?

The right advice is essential to you finding the right air drying system. Would you like more information about the compressed air dryers that MARK has to offer? Can we help you decide? Let us know - we’ll answer all your questions as soon as possible.

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