Compressed air treatment systems are designed for a certain rate of air flow which, when the system is operating at full load, pushes against the pressurised air in the air distribution network. However, should this resistance not be present, for example during periods of low load or downtime, it is possible that dryers and filters may be “overwhelmed” by the sudden surge in airflow that occurs when the system re-starts.
Similarly, in a compressed air supply system with multiple leaks it is highly likely that the entire air distribution network will completely depressurise once the compressed have been shutdown for a while. When they are restarted, the compressors are initially feeding air into an empty air distribution network. As a result during a start-up surge, compressed air treatment components such as dryers and filters are subjected to as much as ten times their normal load. Even if you are using the very best dryer and filter systems, contaminants therefore will enter the air distribution network.
Good news. These unwanted outcomes can be easily and cost-effectively avoided by simply integrating an air-main charging system. This is installed in the compressor station just downstream from the last air treatment component, ensuring that the compressed air system remains pressurised even after the compressors have been shutdown.
When air demand returns, the required system pressure is quickly re-established without any associated overload. Because the air-main charging system’s valve opens only when nominal system pressure is reached, dryer and filter operating pressure is maintained at all times, effectively eliminating the sudden surge of compressed air that occurs when compressors are restarted after a period of downtime and therefore safeguarding optimum performance of air treatment equipment. Consequently, the initial pressure regulator not only saves energy, but also plays a key role in safeguarding compressed air quality.
Without an air-main charging system the air treatment is completely overwhelmed by any surge of air. The dryers and filter system is therefore unable to react and can incur damage as a result.