SPX Flow claims it has made a technological breakthrough with its new refrigerated air dryer which will enable electricity savings of 30 per cent for robotics and automation applications
SPX Flow has launched a new refrigerated compressed air dryer which it claims can save up to 30 per cent on energy costs.
The Flex Series lowers air system power costs and improves productivity by matching power consumption to compressed air demand. In a typical manufacturing facility utilizing automation and robotics, up to 30 per cent of electricity can be consumed for generating and treating compressed air.
To reduce total cost of operation and qualify for utility company incentive programs, proper air treatment equipment selection and application is required, says the company.
SPX says this is a breakthrough in compressed air drying technology.
The Flex Series refrigerated air dryer from SPX Flow represents a breakthrough in dryer technology and the new benchmark for energy efficiency.
The high performance unit uses Phase Change Material to achieve superior energy savings, with a potential return on investment of one to two years, the Flex Series is set to revolutionize the compressed air industry.
SPX calls its innovation “the future of refrigerated compressed air dyers”.
The Flex Series energy-saving refrigerated air dryer is being released under SPX Flow’s Hankison brand. The Flex Series refrigerated air dryer utilizes the latest advancements in heat transfer technology, and offers an innovative approach to efficiently remove liquid from compressed air.
The key to energy-saving aspect, says SPX Flow, is the use of phase change material, or PCM.
PCM is a material that harnesses latent heat produced as it converts from solid to liquid or liquid to solid. While latent heat is being absorbed or released, the process is isothermal – no temperature change – and the energy from the heat is used to change the form of the material.
The PCM has high latent heat properties, meaning it absorbs a lot of heat at constant temperature as it melts or freezes and stays colder for longer periods of time.
While the PCM absorbs heat from warm, moisture laden compressed air there is no significant rise in temperature.
Designed with a 3-in-1 heat exchanger, the PCM encapsulates the refrigeration and compressed air circuits. This allows the phase change material to stay colder for longer periods of time, cycling the refrigerant compressor less often than conventional energy saving designs.
As the Flex Series dryer automatically matches the compressed air load at any point in time, it can be sized to the maximum plant compressed air load without a material energy consumption penalty.
The Flex Series is named for its flexible design and increased multi-flow bandwidth, and the company says it allows for deployment into a broader range of flows, without compromising initial costs or energy consumption.
The utilization of PCM allows for more regulated temperature and less cycles, thus delivering greater energy savings.
The PCM itself is an eco-friendly refrigerant that melts and solidifies above 0°C and does not require the use of glycol, pump, tank or hot gas bypass; further increasing the efficiency of the dryer.
Flex Series dryers minimize the number of components for easy servicing and maximum reliability.
Additionally, they have an integrated controller with clear LCD display for easy monitoring and operation.
The use of PCM in the Flex Series dryer re-sets energy efficiency expectations for the compressed air industry.
The dryers not only offer more economical operation than alternative refrigerated dryers, but also the way they operate means, they inherently adapt to variances in air flow and ambient temperatures to maximize energy savings.
Simple in design, efficient in operation, the SPX Flow Flex Series refrigerated air dryer “sets the new standard in compressed air treatment technology”, claims the company.