Contaminates are dangerous in any fluid but particularly so to fuel or lubricants used in to power equipment. The entry of contaminates will result in equipment failure which will compromise a critical facilities back up power. Desiccant breathers are a low cost option for contamination control, designed to prevent contaminates from entering the fluid holding tanks or reservoirs. Effective adoption of Desiccant breathers will improve productivity, prolong fluid life-time, reduce maintenance costs and control expensive downtime.
Desiccant breathers are designed to replace the breather cap or air filter on bulk storage tanks and fluid reservoirs. Most traditional style air venting methods provide minimal, if any, contamination control as they are designed to allow free-flow of air rather than filter out contaminates.
Desiccant breathers adsorb water from the air before it enters your fluid system and remove particulate contaminants as small as 2-microns. The silica gel changes colour as it becomes depleted, turning from gold to dark green, making it easy to identify the condition of a breather whilst highlighting the need to ensure the stored fuel is sampled and tested for contaminates.
Diagram 1 shows how the breathers design allows outside air to enter through the top of the breather's cap, which is designed to overhang the body of the breather, increasing protection.
When contaminated air enters the top of the breather, it passes through a self-cleaning solid particle filter. This filter traps solid particles greater than 2-micron and prevents them from entering the breather or the tank. The filtered air then passes through a layer of silica gel that adsorbs moisture in the air. This process eliminates up to 95% of the water vapor in the air.
Finally, the filtered air passes through an additional 2-micron filter in the bottom of the breather to ensure that no harmful particles will enter. This three-stage filtration design ensures your equipment is clean, dry and contaminate free air.
Diagram 2 indicates air being drawn back through the desiccant breather from where the breather is mounted. As contaminated air travels this reverse path, water vapours are adsorbed by the silica gel.
During this reverse air flow process, the any excessive moisture inside the reservoir will turn the gold silica gel dark green from the bottom rather than the top of the breather. This indicates that water has entered the tank storage and should be sampled and tested.
As the exhausted air passes back through the self-cleaning 2-micron filter, located in the top cap of the breather; any particles that were trapped as air entered the system are now released from the filter.