The more you know about the various pieces of equipment used in your organization’s industrial processes, the better you can put them to use to serve your specific requirements. This awareness is also beneficial since you’ll have insight into what’s involved during routine inspections and maintenance of your system. As an owner or operator, you’ll want to become more familiar with the importance of differential pressure or DP in industrial dust collectors.
About Differential Air Pressure
We speak about differential air pressure to describe the pressure difference from the unfiltered “dirty side” to the filtered “clean air” side of an industrial dust collector.
When calculating the pressure differences, you are determining how much resistance there is to air flowing between the collector’s dirty to clean air sides. This includes the pressure that is lost when air passes through tube sheet openings along with the level of resistance attributed to the filters used to clean the air. Also accounted for is the presence of dust accumulating on the filters themselves.
What Can We Learn from Differential Air Pressure Readings?
It’s important to pay close attention to the differential pressure readings because any dramatic changes detected will provide you with insight into the health of the system.
Equipment operators must be concerned about excessive dust building up on the filters. As they grow dirtier, the pressure required to pull the process air through the filters increases. As additional dust becomes retained in the filters the differential pressure readings increase between the dirty and clean air sides of the filters. This, in turn, increases the amount of horsepower (HP) the system fan requires to move a continuous volume of air.
You can observe a similar action when you put your thumb halfway across the opening of a garden hose. The same amount of water is flowing, but it moves at a greater pressure because your thumb has blocked half of the opening.
So, continual monitoring of differential pressure plays an important role in the operation and evaluation of dust collectors, especially in industrial environments.
What Does the Cleaning System Do?
Industrial dust collectors generally use a cleaning system using powerful bursts of compressed air to clean the filters. When not operating properly, the result can be diminished performance, owing to clogs in filters and reduced air pressure.
This underscores the importance of scheduling regular maintenance and inspections. That gives you the best return on investment of your industrial equipment.
What Do Changes in Differential Air Pressure Indicate?
You will observe readings of differential pressure on dust collector instrument panels. Several types of gauges serve to measure differential pressure in industrial dust collectors. Some of the most common include magnehelic and Photohelic gauges which can include electronic read-outs for differential pressure and remote monitoring features
Technicians will be keeping an eye on upward and downward shifts in DP, as either can indicate a problem with the system.
- Low Pressure: On occasions when you see a sudden decrease in pressure, the problem can often be attributed to leakage around the filters or a hole in one or more of the filters.
- High Pressure: If you see a sudden high-pressure reading, chances are good that the system’s cleaning mechanism has failed, or there may have been a change in the process causing changes in the dust characteristics, causing filters to clog up.
There is much involved in making sure that your industrial dust collector is running properly, at its highest efficiency. Keeping it clean and monitoring differential pressure are crucial to the longevity of the equipment.
Time to Change Filters
As a rule of thumb, expect to see a one or two-inch reading of differential pressure when you install new filters in your industrial dust collector. With the passage of time, normal use of the dust collector will cause dust to continuously accumulate. Continue to take readings. You’ll see DP increasing in correspondence to the thickness of the dust layers.
Generally, when your team discovers that a dust collector has a DP reading of 6 inches or more and continues to rise quickly, it’s time to replace the filters. CAMCORP’s Installation, Operation, and Maintenance Manuals are excellent resources for the care and optimal performance of your dust collectors. In fact, they will confirm that to continue operating your dust collector at excess differential pressures can cause premature filter failures and costs for replacements. Additionally, higher differential pressures increase horsepower (HP) requirements for the system fan to move the process air resulting in increased electrical operating costs.
Maintenance, cleaning, and filter replacement are the three tasks to schedule regularly to prevent an outage. Your organization will have an interest in keeping the industrial dust collector working trouble-free for the maximum length of its potential service period. Money you save on repairs or replacement can therefore be allocated to more profitable ventures, such as equipment upgrades or adding new staff.
Being aware of how differential air pressure functions in industrial dust collection is therefore an important part of your long-term growth and competitiveness. If you have any questions about details of your industrial dust collector, the team at CAMCORP is here to help. Please contact us today.