Using Air Compressors in Humid Environments
May 20, 2020
With summer just around the corner and temperatures beginning to rise, there is no better time to prepare for using your air compressors in humid environments. Humidity is one of the main causes of condensation within compressed air systems, so we are going to talk about how it forms, the effects it can have, and how to solve it.
A Guide for Usage in Humid Environments
Formation of Condensation in Air Compressors
As you know, there is water vapour present in all atmospheric air, especially so when the weather conditions and environments are more humid. Warmer air contains more moisture so when the air molecules get separated from the water during air compression, there is a higher level of water building up in the system. This condensation will remain inside unless removed.
Impact of Condensation in Air Compressors
Condensation and moisture inside your compressed air system can cause many problems, not only during humid seasons but in the future too, and can consequently shorten the life of your air compressor.
These issues include restricting the effectiveness of filters and the oil, which can lead to even further difficulties. Plus, rusting and corroding of internal components and piping and freezing outdoor lines which can expand and break.
By offering a solution to reduce condensation, you will be able to avoid these problems now and in seasons to come.
Tools to Help Keep Excess Moisture Out
Water Separator & Aftercooler
Water separators are used to separate the oil and the water that is produced from the condensation build-up. The diaphragm filter drains them off into individual special receivers and stores it safely.
An aftercooler is usually included as standard equipment in air compressors, but you need to make sure it is altered to a low enough temperature when used in humid environments. This is so it will lower the temperature of the compressed air which, in turn, will reduce the water content.
Internal & External Dryers
There are two main dryers that you can use to help the moisture content in your air compressor. A refrigerated dryer cools the ambient air to a near-zero temperature so the water content in reduced, resulting in no condensation.
A desiccant dryer absorbs the water by passing the air through a pressure vessel that is filled with desiccant material. Water in the compressed air is chemically bound to an adsorption material and consequently dissolves and is then discarded.
Check Drain Valve
By regularly servicing your drain valves, you can make sure that they are working efficiently enough. The higher amount of condensation needs to be drained easily because if the water flow can’t pass through, it will impact both the system and tools. When you empty the water tank and leave the valve open for a bit to dry it out.
Air Compressor Servicing by Air Power East
Even though it is impossible to completely prevent moisture entering your air compressor, these are some ways you can reduce it during humid weather.
If you are unsure about whether your compressed air system is producing quality air, get in contact with us today, and one of our experts can assess and evaluate your equipment.