Faster, More Fuel Efficient Air Drying Technology Introduced

October 2013, Vol. 240 No. 10

Recently formed Pipeline Drying International, LLC, of Houston provides air drying of pipelines, stations, LNG tanks or any vessel with its patent-pending Mobile Drying Unit (MDU8000), which produces up to 4,500 cubic feet/minute (cfm) of oil free negative dew point air. This while consuming less than 22 gallons per hour in fuel.

Two MDU units can be combined to produce close to 9,000 cfm in oil free super dry air. A single MDU will actually deliver a larger volume of dry air than five 900 cfm air compressors or three 1,600 cfm air compressors. Not only are fuel savings significant, but drying times are significantly reduced as are NOx emissions.

There are several reasons for faster drying times, reduced fuel consumption and lower NOx emissions. The first is the MDU produces the same volume of dry air as multiple air compressors but uses a single diesel engine. Also, it can be connected to the pipeline, station or vessel being dried with up to two 6-inch hoses, an advantage over conventional air compressors, which have only 2- and 3-inch hoses available.

Second, the system uses a desiccant drying system that does not sacrifice 15% or more in throughput due to desiccant regeneration. Conventional air compressors also lose throughput due to filters, after coolers and headers that are not required with the self-contained MDUs.

Two of the simple concepts that go into the air-drying process are airflow volume and the dew point of the airflow. The higher the air volume delivered and the lower the dew point, the faster the evaporation rate. If you can provide dryer air faster with half the fuel and half the emissions you have a winning combination.

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