Many applications that involve nitrogen gas in the production process require varied volumes of gas to be delivered during peak and off-peak operation. A preconceived opinion of on-site nitrogen gas generators is that they can only operate on a constant full flow basis.
Unlike bulk liquid vessels and gas cylinder packs that have pre-produced gas stored and supply as much or as little gas to the application as required via regulated flow, on-site gas generators typically operate on a constant flow basis with any peak demands fulfilled by additional storage vessels.
Options for nitrogen generators in variable flow applications
With a typical output pressure range of 5 to 10 barg, which is dictated by the available compressed air supply, the maximum achievable outlet nitrogen pressure is often very close to the application usage pressure. This means that unfeasibly large storage vessels would be required to provide any sensible usable capacity from such a small pressure differential, making this solution for variable or peak flow applications unrealistic.
An alternative would be to size the nitrogen generation system for extra capacity, which would most likely require a larger investment in capital equipment and increased energy costs. Most generators operate using a fixed regeneration cycle: if the facility is only using 10% of the gas generated in off-peak times, the volume of air required is still 100%. This means manufactures' published air-to-nitrogen ratios are dramatically higher, resulting in a large amount of wasted energy consumed.
Major advancement in nitrogen generation technology
Parker domnick hunter's latest modular nitrogen gas generator, NITROSource PSA, offers a major advancement in energy efficiency and a real alternative to delivered gas options when the application requires a variable flow.
Variable flow with maximum economy
After years of in-depth research and development, the engineers at Parker have devised a system that can accurately match compressed air input to nitrogen output. The NITROSource PSA nitrogen generator incorporates EST, an energy saving, integrated device that monitors the system and is able to extend the timing cycle of regeneration. This technology reduces compressed air usage resulting in extended servicing intervals, reduced energy consumption, and, above all, the ability to match demand to production requirements.
A facility using 75% of their capacity, for example, can typically save 29% of the energy needed to generate the required gas, maximising sustainability and increasing performance and profitability.
Now, watch this video to learn more about NITROSource:
With 25 years of experience in the design and manufacture of nitrogen systems, Parker domnick hunter leads the industry in gas separation innovation.
This post was contributed by Phil Green, industrial gas application manager and Dave Sykes, gas generation technology blog team member, Parker Gas Separation and Filtration Division EMEA.