Compressed air treatment suppliers Artic Driers International, also the Southern Africa distributor of global manufacturer SPX Flow Busan products, has introduced a new approach in compressed-air drying in South Africa through the Phase Change Material (PCM) compressed air dryer.
“The constant need to reduce energy consumption is an ever-present headache for all plant engineers. It is estimated that the production of compressed air, along with the compressed-air treatment, amounts to about 30% of an average production plant’s power consumption,” Artic Driers CEO Allen Cockfield tells Engineering News.
The PCM dryer provides low dew-point compressed air through a unique and patented four-in-one heat exchanger and helps to lower the air system’s power costs. The phase change material, housed in a plate-to-plate heat exchanger, has a high latent-heat property that enables the material to melt or freeze at constant temperature.
The phase-change material will absorb heat from warm, moisture-laden compressed air without a change in temperature. The PCM also stays cold for longer periods, and enables the trademarked Freon compressor in the dryer to cycle on and off, allowing long off-time periods, resulting in cost savings.
As compressed-air load fluctuates, the power requirement to dry the compressed air is matched in proportion to the demand, subsequently improving productivity. For example, a typical noncycling dryer uses a constant 96% power under any operating load, while a PCM dryer, when operating at 60% load, uses only 60% of its full load energy.
When compared with current, but older, noncycling and thermal mass-type compressed-air dryers or even variable-speed driven dryers, the PCM dryer offers notable power savings, without the complications of variable-speed drives, coolant pumps or glycol tanks, subsequently offering a more elegant engineering solution, says Cockfield.
Along with other quality air-treatment packages and filtration systems manufactured by SPX Flow Busan, in South Korea, Artic Driers International has provided the expertise and aftercare support for South Africa and Southern Africa for over 17 years.
“With about 30% of dryers manufactured for the European and American markets by SPX Flow Korea over the past 12 months being the new PCM type dryer, there is potential for a sizeable uptake in South Africa,” enthuses Cockfield.