Once condensate has been separated from the airstream, it should be mechanically removed using a condensate removal system. There are various types of condensate traps which all have some shortcomings that a user needs to be aware of.
Timer traps are effective in removing condensate as long as they are set to acturate frequently enough for the prevailing moisture load. The amount of condensed liquid in a compressed air system can change as much as eight-fold depending on the ambient conditions at the intake of the compressors. Therefore a timer trap will waste compressed air if it actuates too frequently or will re-entrain liquid downstream if actuation is not frequent enough. For proper
operation of a timer trap, it would have to be adjusted seasonally and would still be difficult for an operator properly tune. For these reasons, timer traps are not the most ideal selection for removing condensate in your application.
Float traps are simple and cost effective but tend tend to stop up at the discharge orifice due to particulates and viscous lubricant.
Zero-Air Loss type condensate traps, are superior to float and timer traps for several reasons.
The Zero-Air Loss Traps remove moisture without wasting compressed air.
The discharge port on the pneumatic type no air loss drains can be specified at ½” which alleviates the problem of stopping up due to rust and scale.
There is a manual test button on top of the unit that allows the operator the check the functionality of the trap. An operator can also visually check the traps for functionality since the reservoir housing is translucent and condensate can be visually observed accumulating.
The electronic Zero-Air loss type traps have a benefit of an output alarm that can be sent to the closest PLC when the unit malfunctions.
No trap made today is maintenance-free; however we find the pneumatic type no air loss traps to be the most dependable on the market. The initial cost for no air loss condensate traps is higher compared to other types, but is well worth it since they are effective in preventing downstream contamination.
Avoid Clogged Drains
Other drain devices with small orifices and poppet style valves are prone to clog when solid debris is present. Each Drain-All® has a large, smooth liquid flow path and discharge port as well as a heavy duty shear action ball valve designed to alleviate.
No Electricity Consumption or Connections
Timer valves require electricity. There is a cost for installing and maintaining the electric outlets they require as well an ongoing operating cost of electricity year after year. Drain-All® requires no electricity to operate since it is totally pneumatic and can be easily installed at any point along the compressed air system, providing low cost installation and ongoing operation.
Drain-All® cycling is controlled by a patented magnetic interaction with a totally pneumatic control circuit. While other pneumatic drains have a complex, lever-action “toilet
bowl” type internal float with many parts, there are few moving parts in the Drain-All®. Since the Drain-All® is totally pneumatic, it is not affected by power outages or the other vulnerabilities of electrical devices such as timer solenoid valves, motorized ball valves or electrically operated float traps.
Avoid System Blowdown
Manually operated drains, timer solenoid valves, motorized ball valves or electrically operated float traps blow away large quantities of expensive compressed air. Manually operated drains waste considerable compressed air because most operators feel it is necessary to have the drain open an extended period of time in order to get all the liquid out. Timer valves are almost always set to be open longer than necessary in order to drain all of the liquid and this also passes large quantities of compressed air down the drain. Drain-All® avoids this waste of compressed air and the resulting pressure drop in the compressed air system by maintaining a liquid seal in the bottom of the Drain-All®’s reservoir between each cycle.
Controlled Liquid Discharge
Manual draining and timer valve draining do not provide any information on the quantity of liquid being produced in the compressed air system. Each Drain-All® model discharges a specific amount of liquid on each cycle in a given application. With the addition of an optional Drain-All® cycle counter on the Drain-All® unit, it is easy to track how much liquid is produced over any period of time. This is particularly important for benchmarking system equipment performance and performing trend analysis. For example, it is essential to
know the quantity of liquid produced by a compressed air system in order to properly size oil-water separators. A cycle counter coupled with a Drain-All® unit is an instrument. Once installed, it provides tracking of the number of cycles for periods of time at different ambient
temperature and humidity conditions. This data can be plotted on a chart. During operations thereafter, a check on the number of cycles per time period of actual operation compared to the chart for a given temperature and humidity will show if the correct amount of liquid is being received by the Drain-All®. Too many cycles, compared to the chart, indicates excessive liquid is being produced somehow
and should be investigated. Too few cycles indicates that not enough liquid is being produced and this too should be investigated.
Manual drain valve operation and timer valves are usually set for overkill in terms of frequency and duration of drainage times in order to be certain that no liquid accumulates in the system. This results in waste of expensive compressed air. Drain-All® is demand-activated and drains only when the liquid reaches the predetermined trigger point. The Drain-All® does not over-drain or blow down the system.
Timer drains must be preset to establish the frequency and duration of drainage. The settings may be vastly different in periods of high humidity from what they would be during periods of low humidity. It is common for this adjustment to be overlooked in the transition from winter to summer. Therefore, the settings are often inadequate to handle the higher summer quantities of liquid, which, in turn, result in
excess liquid accumulation in the compressed air system. This liquid often backs up and can cause damage to dryers, compressors and hand tools that are expensive to repair. The Drain-All® is designed to cycle as needed when liquid accumulates and requires no adjustments from season to season.
Optimal Liquid Removal
The air pressure in the system being drained forces the liquid out of the Drain-All® reservoir. Because the power of the air system is behind it, the discharge can be directed upward, to a containment vessel, to an oil-water separator or to an overhead discharge piping system.