Process and control today | Hi-line’s Hi-Plex hybrid technology offers cost-effective and energy-efficient compressed air drying

It is estimated that ISO 8573-1 Class 4 moisture content is acceptable in most compressed air system applications, supporting the use of refrigeration dryer technology. However, where applications require a higher level of moisture removal, desiccants are typically the technology of choice. The long-standing problem here is the higher costs associated with desiccant dryers, which is why Hi-line Industries, a UK-based leader in the design, manufacture and installation of energy-efficient compressed air purification equipment, is tackling this problem with its new Hi-Plex dual- technology dryer. This hybrid solution combines Hi-line’s proven refrigeration and PSA air treatment technologies, creating an energy-efficient system with low investment costs compared to traditional heat-regenerated desiccant air dryers.

How does Hi Plex work? Well, a Hi-line Tundra cooling system first removes bulk moisture via lossless automatic condensate drains, then cools the air in the heat exchanger to +1°C and condenses all the water to a PDP (Pressure Dew Point) of +3°C). From here the pre-dried air enters an energy-efficient HPSA (Hi-line Pressure Swing Adsorption) dryer where it is further dried by adsorption to lower dew points between -20°C PDP and -70°C PDP depending on end-user requirements , Compliance with moisture content class 2 according to ISO8573.1. Note that Hi-line can add an activated carbon tower for Class 0 applications.

Hi-Plex regeneration is accomplished through the use of a vacuum assisted fan that uses a reduced amount of purge air to create a desorption effect in the desiccant beds. A side channel vacuum pump removes the small amount of residual water (via exhaust muffler) back into the atmosphere where it came from. This plug-and-play system works fully automatically: moist air in – dry air out.

Importantly, high-efficiency dual technology Hi-Plex dryers typically operate with only 1-2% purge compared to 13-15% for a standard desiccant air dryer. Even more savings are achievable after specifying Hi-line’s optional AEMS (Automatic Energy Management System) for dew point control. AEMS has a digital dew point display, high humidity alarm and a regeneration function that can be set and requested. This allows customers to ensure they are using a minimal amount of energy to reach dew points at all times. Overall energy savings of over 70% are achievable compared to a conventional desiccant dryer, providing a much faster return on investment (ROI).

Each dual technology Hi-Plex dryer is application specific but manufactured from standard Hi-Line products. The company adds all components, stainless steel tubing and filters to a compact rack at its UK headquarters and manufacturing facility in Burton-upon-Trent. Hi-line is happy to meet any special requirements, e.g. B. an even smaller footprint or a lower height to fit, for example, in a compressor house with a low ceiling. The company can also facilitate the connection to customer software or a BMS (Building Management System).

Hi-Plex systems are available from 165 to 1700 scfm and from 3.1 to 10.8 kW installed power. A five-year warranty is standard, subject to service criteria.

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