Compressed Air Condensate Management
Managing the condensed vapours In a compressed air system can be done in a variety of ways. Manual drains may be used as prescribed by a procedure and responsibility list laid down by your company.
This method requires more manpower but has the advantage of early warning for any system leaks or any other malfunctions that might come to light when the system is drained and checked. The disadvantage is the risk that the procedure is not followed correctly, or even at all.
Float type autodrains are commonly used and may be manually overridden. This does, however, not indicate whether the autodrain is functional or not. This type of autodrain is typically serviceable up to twelve months where after they are replaced. Larger float type autodrains suffer the same problems but are realistically serviceable for period of up to 24 months.
Electric solenoid-valved autodrains are typically employed using on/off delay timers and an override function. These types of autodrain have two problems:
(i) they waste compressed air when no condensate is present and
(ii) they clog up if the condensate is severely contaminated by dirt, rust and oil.
Larger electric autodrains utilise an actuated ball- or angle- valve, and a programmable timer and override – these autodrains can handle quite dirty condensate.
Electronically controlled autodrains, which work with a sensor that senses presence of condensate, purge condensate without wasting compressed air.
Zero Air Loss Automatic Drains
This is done by retaining a small amount of condensate. These autodrains are more expensive initially but give a quick return on investment by compressed air saved.