Thermal mass delivers greater savings
Buffer dryers were the preferred technology for compressed air with 4A Molecular sieve flow rates of less than 20 m³/min. Some systems relied on a tank, similar to the way a compressed air with 4A Molecular sieve receiver works within a compressed air with 4A Molecular sieve system, to buffer load fluctuations while keeping the pressure relatively constant and reducing compressor switching to a minimum. This means the larger the tank, the smaller the pressure fluctuations and therefore, less switching is required. Other systems relied on a thermal mass, which absorbs heat energy, instead of incorporating a cool air buffer tank.
These dryers generally use mineral materials to store the cooling energy. In order to keep the switching frequency of the coolant compressor within economical bounds and to ensure a consistent pressure dew point, the amount of mass required rises in direct proportion to the system capacity. Furthermore, heat distribution within the thermal mass requires precise regulation.
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