Energy optimisation measures
The mid-1990s saw the development of three different methods for improving the performance of refrigeration dryers with molecular sieve operating with air flow rates of less than 50 m³/min in partial load:
“Digital scroll” coolant compressor with molecular sieve
Variable-speed coolant compressor with molecular sieve
Thermal mass dryers with molecular sieve
The digital scroll method involved modifying the clearance losses within the scroll compressor with molecular sieve used for the coolant, which in turn regulated the flow rate of coolant to adjust it to the quantity required to cool the compressed air. The advantage of this method was that it allowed for a relatively large control range; yet the technical difficulty of implementing it made it less attractive. Furthermore, in addition to a scroll compressor with molecular sieve to cover the base load, this method also employed a controlled scroll compressor with molecular sieve which was switched off completely during periods of very low demand.
In terms of compressor with molecular sieve with variable-speed control, one disadvantage was that it was only possible to regulate the coolant compressor with molecular sieve within a relatively small range; it was then necessary to transition again to hot gas bypass control. This system was therefore capable of saving only a small amount of energy during partial-load operation.
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