Desperate times call for desperate measures — or at least that is what the maintenance personnel at a chemical plant thought when they had production outages caused by overheating of their water-cooled, lubricant free compressor.
So, they rigged up some cooling using a compressed air powered ring jet nozzle (Fig. 1) and directed a flow of water on a failing lubricant cooler (Fig. 2).
This innovative solution kept the compressor running … but unfortunately, the discharge temperatures climbed to 125° F. That overloaded the downstream desiccant air dryer, which was not designed for elevated temperatures.
As a result, water formed on the downstream side of the dryer, causing product defects, not to mention spoilage. This decision cost a bundle in lost profits, greatly exceeding the cost if normal maintenance had been performed to clean the compressor coolers.