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11. What are The Cooling Methods of Compressed Air?

The air temperature after compression is very high. When compressed air is cooled, a significant amount of condensed water will inevitably form on the air pipelines. The most effective method to remove this condensation is to immediately pass the compressed air through an aftercooler. An aftercooler is a heat exchanger that can be cooled either by air or water.

  1. Air cooling: Compressed air passes through a series of pipes while cold air generated by a fan is forced to blow onto the pipes. The cooled compressed air at the outlet will typically be around 15°C higher than the ambient temperature.
  2. Water cooling: In a shell and tube configuration, one side contains water while the other side contains air, and they flow in opposite directions through the aftercooler. In water cooling, the aftercooler ensures that the outlet air temperature is approximately 10°C higher than the cooling water temperature. It is common to have an automatic drain valve connected to the aftercooler to remove condensate.

By using either air or water cooling in the aftercooler, the high temperature of the compressed air can be effectively reduced, minimizing the formation of condensation and preventing potential issues caused by moisture in the air system.

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