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Energy-Efficient Heat-of-Compression Dryers

Oct. 31, 2011
Alternative to desiccant dryers deliver clean, dry air using waste heat from the air compressor
The Ingersoll Rand heat-of-compression (HOC) dryers low-profile design fits installations with low overhead clearances, and places critical service components easily within reach.

INGERSOLL RAND reports its new line of heat-of-compression (HOC) dryers provide flexibility, reliability and energy-efficiency in a low profile package. The dryers turn wasted heat into useful energy, resulting in clean, dry air at a fraction of the cost of traditional desiccant dryers. By using heat produced during the compression process, Ingersoll Rand HOC dryers can deliver instrument-quality air using virtually no energy.

The dryers’ feature control technology maximizes savings under all operating conditions by monitoring inlet process-air conditions, adjusting dryer operation to deliver consistent, dry air and helping to minimize dew point and temperature spikes. The units are designed with no-loss drains to prevent wasting compressed air, and a low-pressure drop design that allows compressors to run at lower pressure to conserve energy. Patented, stainless steel heat exchangers provide optimal performance under the harshest operating conditions, according to the developer, and the automatic drain bypass feature ensures removal of condensate.

The HOC has a low-profile design so it will fit in installations with low overhead clearances. This design places critical service components easily within reach, offering a measure of workplace safety for service personnel. Unlike other dryers, Ingersoll Rand indicated its HOC dryers may be used with multiple compressors, reducing the footprint requirements and installation costs.

The developer estimates the HOC dryer’s annual operating cost at $0.10/kWh for a 1,000-SCFM application. “Taking into account the cost of compressed air for purge requirements and electricity, a heatless desiccant dryer would cost over $24,000.00 to operate annually, while a blower purge desiccant dryer would run about $18,000.00 per year,” it reported. “An Ingersoll Rand water-cooled HOC dryer, under the same conditions, would cost approximately $120.00 to operate annually.”