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How Do Compressed Air Desiccant Dryers Work?

Compressed air desiccant dryers are used in a variety of applications to remove water from compressed air. They are especially vital when the compressed air equipment is located outdoors. Learn more about the types of desiccant dryers and the options available from Energy Machinery.  


How Do Compressed Air Desiccant Dryers Work?

Air compressors extract air from the environment. This air may contain moisture and other particles that must be removed using a desiccant before it can be used in industrial processes. A desiccant is a chemically stable material that absorbs moisture.

A compressed air desiccant dryer uses desiccant materials to eliminate moisture from the air channeled through it. The standard system works using a two-tower configuration that continuously dries the air. 

One tower actively eliminates moisture from the air funneled through it, while the other tower regenerates its desiccant material. When the desiccant in one tower is saturated and the desiccant in the second tower is adequately dried, a control unit automatically reverses the functions of the two towers. This exchange enables the production of continuous dry air.


Heated vs. Heatless Desiccant Dryers

There are two main types of compressed air desiccant dryers: heated and heatless. Heated dryers use heat to remove water from the desiccant material that is not in use during each cycle. These dryers depend on electricity or steam to operate.

Heatless dryers use dry air produced by the dryer to extract water vapor from the desiccant material. Ideal for delivering instrument quality air to critical applications, heatless dryers minimize dependence on outside services like electricity, gas, or steam for heat.

SPX Hankison Compressed Air Desiccant Dryers

Standard Desiccant Dryers

Compressed air desiccant dryers can deliver air at consistently low dew points of -40 °F/°C or lower. Here is an overview of the standard compressed air desiccant dryers available from Energy Machinery.

HBP Series Blower Purge Compressed Air Desiccant Dryer

Rather than using a portion of dehydrated purge air to regenerate the inactive desiccant tower, HBP Series Desiccant Dryers use a dedicated axial blower to improve air system efficiency. These desiccant dryers provide ISO 8573.1 Class 2 (-40 °F/-40 °C) dew point performance. 

DHW Series Compressed Air Desiccant Dryer

This space-saving, wall-mounted unit protects moisture-sensitive applications that need low-pressure dew points. The DHW Series Compressed Air Desiccant Dryer is ideal for labs, hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and other high-tech installations. The series delivers dew points of ISO 8573.1:2010 Class 1 (-100 °F/-73 °C) and Class 2 (-40 °F/-40 °C) with 7 to 50 scfm flow rates. 

Heatless Desiccant Dryers

Heatless desiccant dryers are simple, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. Here is an overview of our heatless desiccant dryer products.

DGH Series Heatless Compressed Air Desiccant Dryer

The DGH Series Heatless Desiccant Dryers are customizable to fit your unique compressed air drying needs. At rated flow, the pressure drop is less than 5 psi. The three controller styles available include:

  • Basic: The basic controller is a traditional heatless drying system. It offers reliable, fixed-cycle operation.
  • Standard: The standard controller features four dew point options, eight levels of purge air, and controlled purge air shutdown.
  • Energy Saving: The energy saving controller features demand-driven operating cycles and automatic purge air control. Its sensitivity to actual operating conditions minimizes the overall cost of operation.

HHS, HHL, HHE Series Heatless Compressed Air Desiccant Dryers

Available with three application-specific control systems, the HHS, HHL, and HHE Series Heatless Desiccant Dryers use twin towers filled with premium grade activated alumina to provide high-quality compressed air at a competitive cost. The HHS, HHL, and HHE Series dryers from Hankison® deliver consistent outlet pressure dew points to -100 °F/-73 °C. 


Compressed Membrane Air Dryers

Compressed membrane air dryers use a semipermeable membrane to remove water from compressed air. 

HMD and RHD Series Compressed Air Desiccant Dryers

HMD and RHD Series Compressed Air Dryers use membrane gas separation technology for compressed air drying. In the process, compressed air saturated with water vapor flows through a group of tubular membranes. While water vapor passes through the membrane, dry air exits the tube bundle for downstream use. If the dried air isn’t exposed to temperatures below the dew point produced by the dryer, no water will form in the air system.


Compressed Air Desiccant Dryers from Energy Machinery

Compressed air desiccant dryers play an important role in the quality and efficiency of a facility’s compressed air applications. With standard heated, heatless, and membrane desiccant dryers to choose from, you can determine the right option for your application. 

With over 50 years of experience in the industry, Energy Machinery offers a wide range of American-made industrial desiccant dryers from leading brands. Browse our catalog to find your ideal solution. For further guidance, contact Energy Machinery or request a quote