Even though there may not be any parameters for the quality of compressed air in your plant, we must realize its true importance.
Ninety-five percent of compressors are the screw-type, oil-flooded, screw – type. Thus, the discharge air being produced contains moisture, oil vapour, and other impurities. These by-products can cause, not just contamination in the air stream, but can lead to rust in the pipes and the receiver and at the same time. All production equipment is sensitive to moisture and impurities, which can cause malfunction in the control lines and damage to the final product.
The primary solution to achieve the best quality of air is as follows:
For oil vapour and impurities, inline filters serve as the best protection dependent on the micron rating of the elements and positioning in the air stream. Moisture can only be eliminated by dropping the dew point to 37oF by installing a refrigerated air dryer. Any air that is being used from outside the plant, when facing conditions below freezing, would require a desiccant dryer.
All municipalities have very strict rules, regulations and heavy fines for plants that do not properly dispose of the moisture removed from the compressed air system. This is mainly due to the presence of oil and contaminants in the moisture. This is why oil water separators are a must.
Proper sizing of an air receiver can greatly reduce your energy bill, as well as balance the fluctuation of pressure and moisture in the plant. Installation according to TSSA standards, is mandatory for all filtration, dryers, air receivers and any compressed air piping in your plant. When it comes to tank positioning, it is preferable to have them after the dryer, whether it be desiccant or refrigerated.