The benefits of refrigerated air dryers

Refrigerated air dryers have many names – refrigerant dryers, refrigeration air dryers, fridge dryers, … All refer to the same technology to remove moisture from compressed air. In this article, we will take uncover how refrigerated compressed air dryers work, what their benefits are, and when to use them. We’ll also highlight a recent important advancement in refrigerated air dryer technology – the introduction of variable speed drive technology for dryers. 

What is a refrigerated air dryer?

AC 200-630 VSD heroshot
A refrigerated air dryer uses a refrigeration system to cool compressed air and then condense and drain the moisture in the air. Here’s how it works. The untreated air enters the dryer and gets a first cool-down by the exiting cool, dry air in an air-to-air heat exchanger. Next, it will get cooled down further by entering the air-to-refrigerant heat exchanger.

Here, it is cooled to approximately 3-4°C/40°F. As the air cools, the moisture in it turns into water droplets. The resulting condensate is then mechanically separated from the air flow. On its way to the exit, the compressed air is rewarmed in the heat exchanger by passing the incoming hot air. This lowers the relative humidity and traps any remaining moisture in vapor form.

Why the need to dry air

Why do you need an air dryer in the first place? Because when compressed air leaves a compressor, it is saturated with 3 types of contaminants: moisture, dust/dirt, and traces of oil. These are pollutants that are in the ambient air before it gets compressed. And then there are those that get added during the compression process. Either way, these contaminants can compromise your entire air system, your pneumatic tools, and your final products.

Moisture alone can damage the compressor, air motors, and valves, as well as possibly contaminate the product and affect your customers. Corrosion, line freezing, and the creation of microorganisms are just a few of its harmful effects. An air dryer removes this moisture and the risks it entails. 

When to use a refrigerated compressed air dryer?

Refrigerated air dryers are the ideal solution if your operations meet the following conditions:

  • The ambient temperature is less than 50°C/122°F,
  • The main goal is to prevent condensation,
  • And the required pressure dew point is around 3°C-4°C/37°F-39°F.

The benefits of refrigerated compressed air dryers

Refrigerated air dryers have a number of compelling benefits:

  • Low initial cost
  • High reliability, easy to use and maintain
  • Extends the life of your compressor
  • Energy savings

VSD dryers

As the leader in air treatment, Pneumatech is always working to improve dryer technology. Recently, we introduced a quantum leap in refrigerated compressed air dryer engineering: VSD dryers. These dryers rely on the variable speed drive technology that has been used in compressors for many years. That means VSD dryers only use as much energy as is needed at any given time. Conventional dryers operate at full power all the time.

Benefits AC VSD

As you can imagine, this leads to significant savings – up to 60%! It is a level of efficiency conventional dryers simply cannot achieve. This low energy consumption also reduces users’ environmental footprint. Combined with an excellent TEWI-score, it helps companies meet their climate goals.

The energy savings of VSD refrigerated air dryers are so significant that the investment in this type of dryer can be recuperated quickly. That is why a Pneumatech AC VSD dryer will often pay for itself in as little as a year and a half. In addition, this high efficiency does not come at the expense of the reliability or performance of the dryer. The AC VSD delivers high-quality, Class 4 purity air.

The expert in refrigerated air dryers

Pneumatech has been the worldwide expert in air treatment for many decades. Our product offer contains a complete range of refrigerated air dryers, as well as different PDP meters. In addition, our representatives are always happy to answer your general air quality and specific dryer questions. They can also help you select the compressed air dryer that best meets your needs. So don't hesitate to contact us today!

Refrigeration dryers Educational

Refrigeration Dryers

Refrigeration dryers are the most commonly used dryers for removing moisture from compressed air. They therefore play an important role in shielding compressed air systems from corrosion and protecting your equipment and end products alike.