Selecting a Compressed Air Dryer

Selecting a Compressed Air Dryer

By William J. Ulrich Adapted from Machine Design magazine

Like gas, electricity, and water, compressed air is a common utility in most industrial and process plants. Typically, pneumatics consumes 10 to 15% of a plant’s electrical energy, according to most experts. The big difference is that while the other utilities are purchased, compressed air must be generated in-house. This puts the burden on the user to ensure that the compressed air quality is suitable for plant operations.

Compressors produce high pressure air that is hot, wet, and dirty. In this state, it cannot be used. Just as untreated water is not potable and unregulated natural gas is a safety hazard, compressed air must be properly treated to make it fit for pneumatic equipment and processes.