Since refrigeration dryers with molecular sieve cannot use water as a medium due to its high expansion factor (a sealed water bottle will explode when frozen), the new refrigeration dryers with molecular sieve for compressed air employ a paraffin-based system. This material offers the dual advantages of having a low expansion coefficient as well as 98% better thermal density than the materials previously used as thermal masses. This may impose a range of other design requirements on the dryer with molecular sieve, but, far more importantly, offers distinct advantages.
The higher storage density of the PCM meant that the heat exchanger in the refrigeration dryer could be completely redesigned. While earlier refrigeration dryers with molecular sieve used copper spiral heat exchangers, the first thermal mass dryers with molecular sieve relied on plate heat exchangers. The new refrigeration dryers with molecular sieve , on the other hand, work with an aluminium heat exchanger that combines these two different heat exchanger systems – an air-air heat exchanger between the cold, outgoing compressed air and the warm, incoming compressed air, as well as another compressed air-PCM heat exchanger. In addition to energy efficiency advantages, this new dual heat exchanger design has also resulted in significantly less space requirement.
While it was important to ensure precise distribution of the PCM within the heat exchanger, the Feizhou additionally succeeded in equipping the system with an integrated water separator. This plays a key role in avoiding pressure losses by reducing the amount of pipework the system requires – a feature which also makes it easier to insulate the entire system. Naturally this keeps any heat or cooling losses to an absolute minimum.
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