Compressed air and gas treatment

In this article, we will introduce you the basic principles of the most typical compressed air application.


Quality and energy efficient compressor is important, but without proper air treatment it is not possible to produce quality compressed air. The typical compressed air application is consisted of:

1. COMPRESSOR
The basic working principle of an air compressor is to compress atmospheric air, which is then used as per the requirements. In the process, atmospheric air is drawn in through an intake valve; more and more air is pulled inside a limited space mechanically by means of piston, impeller, or vane. Since the amount of pulled atmospheric air is increased in the receiver or storage tank, the volume is reduced and pressure is raised automatically. In simpler terms, free or atmospheric air is compressed after reducing its volume and at the same time, increasing its pressure. There are three major types, namely, reciprocating, rotary, and centrifugal compressor. 

2. CYCLONE CONDENSATE SEPARATOR
Cyclone condensate separators use centrifugal motion to force liquid water out of compressed air. The spinning causes the condensate to join together on the walls of the centrifugal separator. When the condensate gains enough mass it falls to the bottom of the separators bowl where it pools in the sump until it is flushed out of the system by the automatic float drain valve. 
They are installed following aftercoolers to remove the condensed moisture. 

3. PRESSURE VESSEL
Pressure vessel plays a very important role in compressed air system:
• Damping pulsations caused by reciprocating compressors,
• Providing a location for free water and lubricant to settle from the compressed air stream,
• Supplying peak demands from stored air without needing to run an extra compressor,
• Reducing load/unload or start/stop cycle frequencies to help screw compressors run more efficiently and reduce motor starts,
• Slowing system pressure changes to allow better compressor control and more stable system pressures. 

4. COMPRESSED AIR DRYER
Compressed air leaving the compressor aftercooler and moisture separator is normally warmer than the ambient air and fully saturated with moisture. As the air cools, the moisture will condense in the compressed air lines. Excessive entrained moisture can result in undesired pipe corrosion and contamination at the point of end-use. For this reason, some sort of air dryer is normally required. Some end-use applications require very dry air, such as compressed air distribution systems where pipes are exposed to winter conditions. Drying the air to dew points below ambient conditions is necessary to prevent ice buildup. 

5. CONDENSATE DRAIN
Drains are needed at all separators, filters, dryers and receivers in order to remove the liquid condensate from the compressed air system. Failed drains can allow slugs of moisture to flow downstream, that can overload the air dryer and foul end-use equipment. 

6. COMPRESSED AIR FILTER
Compressed air filters are used for high efficient removal of solid particles, water, oil aerosols, hydrocarbons, odour and vapours from compressed air systems.
To meet the required compressed air quality, an appropriate filter element must be installed into the filter housing. 

7. ACTIVATED CARBON TOWER
Activated carbon tower eliminates hydrocarbon vapours and odours from compressed air. Towers are filled with activated carbon adsorbent that adsorbs contaminants onto the surface of its internal pores. Activated carbon towers are used at applications where the content of oil vapours needs to be reduced to a minimum. Activated carbon towers can be incorporated in existing compressed air systems, significantly minimising the risks of contamination. 

8. OIL/WATER SEPARATOR
Local environmental laws and regulations state that condensate drained from compressed air systems cannot be returned to the sewage system due to the content of compressor lubricating oil. Water/oil separators are one of the most effective and economical solutions.
Multistage separation process using oleophilic filters and activated carbon ensures exceptional performance and trouble-free operation. 

9. CONDENSATE DISTRIBUTOR
WOS CD is intended for systems, where the amount of generated condensate exceeds the capacity of the single largest available WOS water oil separator. WOS CD can evenly distribute collected condensate between up to three WOS-35 water oil separators. WOS CD is equipped with flow distributor on the inlet port and up to 8 hose tail connections mounted. 

10. CENTRAL MONITORING SYSTEM
Stable product quality, process optimization and energy savings are just some of the reasons why measuring equipment is becoming an essential part of today's compressed air/gas systems.
Type and number of sensors depend on specific application but the most common are pressure, flow and dew point sensors. 

11. AFTERCOOLER
Air-cooled aftercoolers series ACA have been designed to reduce compressed air temperature and water vapour dew point in the compressed air system. High-efficiency axial fan forces ambient air over the heat exchangers copper tubes supported by aluminium fins, which provides the necessary cooling effect.
The compressed air is cooled down to approximately 10°C above ambient temperature. ACA aftercoolers ensure the maximum performance and protection of all equipment, such as refrigeration dryers, adsorption dryers and filters, positioned downstream of this unit. 

12./13. NITROGEN / OGYGEN GENERATOR
The generators extract the available nitrogen/oxygen in the ambient air from the other gases by applying the Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology. During the PSA process compressed, cleaned ambient air is led to a molecular sieve bed, which allows the nitrogen to pass through as a product gas, but adsorbs other gases.

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Omega Air d.o.o. Ljubljana
Cesta Dolomitskega odreda 10
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia
+386 (0)1 200 68 00
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