The Basics of Dewpoint
In today’s world of manufacturing, compressed air is known as the “fourth utility” because of how vital it is to facilities all around the world.
With this advanced technology comes a unique set of problems and challenges. Dewpoint is one of these issues. Compressed air is used and found in many applications but no matter what you’re using your compressed air for, one aspect remains unchanged: compressed air has to be dry. This is where dewpoint, and the potential problems it can cause, is introduced.
Today we will briefly look at what dewpoint is, why it happens and why it is important to take it into consideration.
What is Dewpoint?
Dewpoint is the temperature at which air must be cooled for water vapor to begin to condense to liquid water. When dewpoint temperature has been reached, air is saturated with water vapor. The term “pressure dewpoint” is when the dewpoint temperature is at pressure levels higher than atmospheric pressure.
What Causes Dewpoint?
There are many reasons why increased dewpoint happens in a compressed air system. Here are the five most common reasons:
- The adsorption agent is not sufficiently regenerated.
- Compressed air bypasses in the refrigeration dryer. Normally this is due to the heat exchanger pipes being worn out or corroded.
- Compressed air bypasses in the bypass line, where wet compressed air passes the bypass instead of passing the dryer. This could be caused by valves that are faulty or not properly closed.
- Condensate overload of the refrigeration dryer due to poor condensate pre-separation.
- Condensate in the refrigeration dryer isn’t drained off. Often this is simply because the condensate eliminator is dirty or faulty.
Why Is It Important to Know About Dewpoint?
The importance of dewpoint in compressed air is determined by what the intended use of the air is, but it remains something that should always be measured and monitored.
Medical and pharmaceutical compressed air processes require a very high level of purity. Monitoring dewpoint is especially important in these applications because water and water vapor are considered contaminants.
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