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Atlas Copco expands solid desiccant air dryer range

30 May 2023

THE INVENTION of Cerades, a revolutionary structured desiccant dryer developed and patented by Atlas Copco, has changed compressed air dryer design and performance.

Now, customers who need a smaller adsorption dryer also have the option of choosing an Atlas Copco CD+ with a flow range from 5 to 30 l/s.

Two years ago, Atlas Copco introduced its range of CD+ adsorption dryers with the all-new Cerades desiccant. The structured desiccant delivers health and environmental benefits, better air quality, and lower energy and service costs compared to the traditional activated alumina, molecular sieve or silica gel beads. When the CD+ was launched, it offered an inlet flow range from 20 to 335 l/s. Now, Atlas Copco is adding six new models to expand the CD+ flow range on the lower end, all the way from 5 to 335 l/s.

Health and environmental benefits

Cerades desiccant technology offers a number of important health and environmental benefits. First is the elimination of desiccant dust. Traditional desiccant beads bounce around during the drying process, causing them to decompose over time, releasing a fine dust into the air system. Without extra filtration, these dust particles can end up compromising product quality.

They also constitute a health and environmental hazard during desiccant replacement, as they can become airborne and be inhaled by service technicians and operators. With Cerades, users enjoy safe maintenance and ISO 8573-1:2010 Class 2 air purity for particles without any extra filtration. 

In addition, Cerades adsorbs CO2 as well as moisture. As the CO2 level in the atmosphere keeps rising, the changing mix of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air affects many industrial processes, measurement devices and products. Cerades improves the quality by lowering the CO2 content in compressed air below 20 ppm. 

Superior energy efficiency

Cerades is made up of straight structured tubes. That means compressed air can flow through it with much less resistance than through a vessel filled with loose beads. As a result, the air experiences much less of a pressure drop. This significantly lowers the energy use and operating costs of a CD+ dryer. 

The CD+ also offers a much more efficient regeneration of saturated desiccant. Its state-of-the-art energy management control with Dew Point Dependent Switching ensures regeneration is only started when dryer conditions require it. This cycle time extension can generate energy savings of up to 90%.

Among the outstanding features of the CD+ is that it can operate continuously with 100% airflow, which is a significant advantage over most dryers, which only achieve between 70 and 80%. The CD+ range also offers a standard pressure dewpoint of -20°C/-5°F, -40°C/-40°F, -70°C/-100°F with the ability to adjust the dewpoint for specific applications.

CD+ dryers come with the Elektronikon Touch operating system with advanced control options to maximise dryer performance and efficiency, and remote SMARTLINK monitoring. 

"Cerades continues to lead the way in compressed air dryer innovation and performance," said Andy Lill, business development manager, industrial air. "It fundamentally improves dryer design, efficiency, safety and performance. And now it does so in smaller dryer sizes too, introducing its benefits to a new segment of customers."