Advanced Water Removal Technology for Compressed Air Systems


Houston, Texas, April 17, 2006 --- Water build-up in compressed air systems causes millions of dollars of damage every year. Until now, removing water contamination from compressed air has been an expensive and high-maintenance process. Air Options, Inc. is now offering a line of dryers that represent a significant advancement in the field of compressed air drying. These advanced technology dryers are specifically designed to address the shortcomings of competing technologies by eliminating the need for CFCs and desiccants. This produces a dryer with a considerably longer life expectancy, virtually no maintenance requirements, reduced operating costs and a lower purchase price. Air Option’s advanced technology dryers provide a permanent solution to the problem of water build-up in compressed air systems.

The advanced technology utilized in these dryers eliminates the need for CFC’s and desiccants and allows the units to be designed with no moving parts. This design provides a significantly smaller footprint than other technologies and mounts either directly to the compressor for systems 30 HP or smaller, or directly to the receiver for systems over 30 HP. Because the dryer design takes into account the harsh environments where most compressors are forced to operate and does not rely on ambient conditions, these dryers perform up to full specifications in even the worst environments. Another significant advantage of these dryers is their ability to maintain operating specifications with input temperatures as high as 250°F and to accept temperatures as high as 350°F with no resulting damage. The small, efficient design of these units also translates to lower manufacturing costs and, therefore, a lower purchase price.

As with other refrigerated air dryers, water is extracted by cooling the compressed air stream, causing the water vapor to condense out. However, Air Option’s dryers use a simple two-stage water evaporation process for the refrigeration cycle instead of a complex CFC system with compressors, metering valves, evaporators and condensers. The proprietary geometry of the water vapor refrigerator expands a small amount of ordinary tap water into a micro-droplet vapor cloud, which is cooled through evaporation. The resulting low temperature discharge is directed into the jacket of a tube-in-shell heat exchanger. As hot, moist air from the compressor flows through the internal exchanger tubes, it is cooled and the water vapor condenses onto the inside surface. The condensed water runs down the tube and out of the bottom of the exchanger where it is trapped. The cool, dry air is then introduced into the system.

The main body of the dryer is constructed using welded SCH 40 piping components with type-122 copper alloy exchanger tubes. The refrigeration units are small, externally mounted devices, with no moving parts, that are easily and inexpensively replaced without disturbing the compressed air operations. In most instances the replacement cost of the entire refrigeration system is less than a typical service call alone for other dryers.

Air Option’s advance technology air dryers have a maximum operating pressure of 200 PSI and are available in sizes ranging from 8 to 15,000 SCFM. The Dry Doc Series, 12 to 500 SCFM, carries a standard 10-year limited warranty, the System Series, 600 to 3000 SCFM, carries a standard 5-year limited warranty. Gang Series dryers, 4000 to 15,000 SCFM, are configured to order and carry a standard 2-year warranty.

A detailed review of this technology can be found in the book Compressed Air Operations Manual, by Brian S. Elliott, published by the McGraw-Hill book company, due for release spring/summer of 2006.

Air Options, Inc. is based in Houston, Texas. Their line of advanced compressed air dryers are designed to address the shortcomings of competing technologies and to provide a permanent solution to the problem of water build-up in compressed air systems.
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