Refrigerated Air Dryers: Reliable and Cool

Refrigerated air dryers are one of the most widely used types of compressed air dryers. Compressed air is often contaminated with moisture, oil, and other impurities, which can cause corrosion, damage to equipment, and other problems. These dryers work by cooling compressed air to remove moisture and contaminants, making it suitable for use in a wide range of applications.

How Refrigerated Air Dryers Work

Refrigerated Air Dryer

GD Refrigerated Air Dryer

These dryers work by cooling compressed air to a temperature below its dew point. The dew point is the temperature at which moisture in the air condenses into water droplets. The condensation that forms as a result of the cooling process is then removed from the air using a drain valve.

Gardner Denver does a good job of explaining how air flows through refrigerated air dryers:

“As air enters the refrigerator and goes through the air-to-air heat exchanger, the outgoing cold air cools the warm air. Then water droplets separate from the cold air, removing the moisture, dirt and oil. The air passes back to the air-to-air heat exchanger, reheating the cooled air exiting the air dryer. Our refrigerated air dryers are separated into two types of air dryers, cycling and non cycling. When purchasing an air dryer it is important to consider the cost. Non-cycling is the most cost-efficient upfront but cycling dryers save energy cost in the long run.”

Benefits And Advantages

One of the main benefits of these types of air dryers, is that they are relatively simple and inexpensive to operate. They are also easy to install and maintain and have a relatively low operating cost, which makes them a cost-effective solution for many businesses.

Another advantage of is that they can handle a wide range of air flows and pressures. This makes them suitable for a variety of applications. They can also be used in conjunction with other types of compressed air dryers, such as desiccant dryers or membrane dryers.

Industry Applications

Internals of Air DryerRefrigerated air dryers are in a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and electronics.

In the food and beverage industry, they dry compressed air that is used in food processing, packaging, and storage. Compressed air commonly moves food products from one location to another. Any moisture in the compressed air can cause contamination and spoilage.

In the pharmaceutical industry, compressed air powers equipment that is used to mix and fill pharmaceutical products. Refrigerated air dryers are used to dry the compressed air that is used in these manufacturing and packaging practices.

In the electronics industry, they dry compressed air that is used in the manufacturing and assembly of electronic components. Moisture in the compressed air can cause corrosion and damage to electronic components, which can lead to malfunctions and failures.


Air dryers are an essential component of industrial compressed air systems. They remove moisture from compressed air and prevent moisture-related issues downstream. Consider factors such as compressed air flow rate, dew point requirement, ambient temperature, pressure drop, maintenance requirements, and energy efficiency when selecting a dryer. By selecting the right refrigerated air dryer for the application, operators can ensure reliable and efficient operation of their compressed air system.