When it comes to supplying dry, inert nitrogen for manufacturing applications, there’s a lot more to PSA technology (pressure swing adsorption) nitrogen generators than vessels filled with CMS (carbon molecular sieve).
In this blog, we’ll examine features and benefits that PSA nitrogen generation brings to the customer, including:
- Gas supply interruption prevention.
- Full compliance with gas purity requirements.
- Over-flow prevention.
- Economy control and energy-saving EST technology.
- Snowstorm filling.
Food packagers don’t necessarily want a liquid tank, cylinders or even a nitrogen generator — they want extended shelf life for their produce. Likewise, chemical manufacturers want to provide high quality, un-oxidized polymers or ensure total safety — free from the risk of fire or explosion.
“People don’t just buy a product, they buy what it does for them”.
— Phil Green, application and training manager, Parker Gas Separation and Filtration Division
Plant managers and engineers want processes to function with repeatability, consistency, reliability, sustainability and at the lowest cost to the business — without disruption, downtime, spoilage or risk. If the nitrogen gas supply is interrupted due to late deliveries, running out or the gas being off-specification, that’s when problems start.
Designed with the customer in mind
Parker’s range of NITROSource PSA nitrogen gas generators has been developed with the customer’s application requirements at the forefront of the design concept. Unique features combined into a compact, modular form, ensure customers can keep doing what they do, free from disruption to their critical nitrogen gas supply.
Mass flow controller
- Fitted integrally at the point of nitrogen gas discharge from the NITROSource generator, it ensures the flow of gas to the application is constant, regardless of system pressure.
- Unlike a needle type valve that can restrict flow under fluctuating pressure, the mass flow controller delivers a consistent nitrogen flow regardless of what is happening with pressure down-stream.
In the event of a sudden demand exceeding the generator’s design parameters, the mass flow controller prevents over-flow conditions that could result in an alarm condition and the nitrogen flow stopping. This results in consistency, reliability and maximum uptime for the customer.
Integral oxygen analyser
The correct quality gas is delivered to the application or process.
- Visual confirmation of the gas quality.
- Option to data log with 4-20mAmp outputs.
For the customer, this means consistency, compliance, reliability, traceability and peace of mind, free from product spoilage or recalls.
In the unlikely event of the nitrogen gas not meeting the specification requirements, the outlet to the application is shut off and the off-specification gas is vented to atmosphere at approximately 2/3rds of the generator flow capacity. The nitrogen generator automatically corrects the situation without the need for intervention. The customer is assured full compliance with specified gas purity being met under all circumstances, no product recalls or spoilage, as well as labour, time and cost savings that would be required for manual intervention. The image to the left shows an outlet valve block with off-gas by-pass valve at the front.
Energy saving features
The NITROSource nitrogen gas generator incorporates two energy-saving features:
1. Economy control
This is a very accurate pressure transducer-operated energy-saving feature that reverts the generator to standby when no gas is being used. In standby, the generator stops using compressed air.
2. Energy-saving technology (EST)
This feature constantly monitors the nitrogen generator performance and adjusts the PSA timing cycle to match compressed air consumption to nitrogen demand.
Other nitrogen generators on the market that do not include this feature use almost as much air at 10% load as they do 100% load. This is because the majority of the air consumption is used during column change over and if this is at fixed intervals, it is constant regardless of nitrogen demand.
These features provide the lowest cost gas, saving money and wear on the generator along with ancillary components such as the compressed air supply. It also gives the customer the peace of mind that the NITROSource generator is operating in the most environmentally friendly way, using only the bare minimum of energy needed to produce the exact amount of gas required by the application.
This procedure ensures that the CMS is filled in the columns at maximum packing density. Advantages include:
- The CMS cannot move and turn to powder through attrition.
- There are no leakage paths to affect purity.
- There are no leakage paths to prevent complete regeneration.
- Less CMS is required to produce a given volume of gas.
- No topping up or replacement of CMS is required.
- The CMS is filled for the life of the generator and is not a consumable item.
Snow-storm filling provides assurance that the performance (flow, pressure and purity), is identical from day one throughout the life of the generator and expensive CMS replacement costs are avoided. Reliability, repeatability, maximum process or application up-time are guaranteed. Reduced air and energy consumption are realized along with minimal maintenance expenses and lowest total cost of ownership.
Parker's NITROSource range of nitrogen gas generators really are a “fit and forget” solution for all nitrogen demands serving a wide range of applications, allowing customers a worry-free critical gas supply. For additional information, download the NITROSource product range brochure.
Watch the video to learn more.
This blog was contributed by Phil Green, application and training manager, Parker Gas Separation and Filtration Division, EMEA.