Air filters protecting against water

Waves crashing and forming spray on the coast is an impressive natural spectacle. You can often taste the salty seawater in the air from some distance away. And this is exactly what worries plant operators. The risk of damage to turbomachinery posed by corrosion and contamination increases with the humidity and salt content in the air.

The simplest solution is to prevent potentially harmful substances from reaching the turbomachinery blades in the first place.

Humidity is a headache

Turbomachinery is an essential part of modern industry in applications from power generation to process plants. It is also used in a wide range of geographic locations.

Many facilities are subject to foggy weather or are located in tropical, coastal, and even offshore environments. The greater the exposure to the elements, the greater the need for more effective protection. If large quantities of water, salt, and other particles enter the turbomachinery on a regular basis, components begin to corrode and the blades are fouled, gradually reducing plant efficiency and performance. Damaged components such as turbine blades are expensive to replace. The resulting downtime also reduces productivity and drives up the total cost.

ISO 29461-2 makes choosing filters easier

The properties and performance of intake air filters for turbomachinery vary, sometimes to a significant extent. Until recently, however, real transparency and comparability were almost non-existent, especially in terms of moisture resistance.

The ISO 29461-1 standard provides a uniform basis for comparing filtration performance using the T-classification for pocket filters, cassette filters, and filter cartridges. However, the ISO 29461-2 standard rates filters’ endurance with regard to water droplets introduced via the intake air. Salts and other substances that clog turbines and equipment dissolve in water and so can penetrate water-permeable filters. The test specified in the standard shows the filter’s hydrophobicity and pressure drop. This information makes it easier for plant operators to compare filters and select the solution with the best balance of energy efficiency and water repellence.

A range of moisture protection options

There are several options for effectively protecting your turbomachinery from damage caused by water penetration. Coalescer prefilters like the Viledon hydro4 filter cells can keep out most of the water, providing advance moisture penetration protection for downstream filters. The special design and built-in features of these filters, which include a water barrier, make them perfect for use in harsh conditions. They are also ideal for installing in tight spaces.

However, if you have space for a for two-, three- or even four-stage filter system, you can also use tried-and-tested filters such as the Viledon hydroMaxx reverse pocket filter or the newly developed Compact T60 hydro pocket filter for the first stage to prevent most moisture penetration and protect the downstream filter stages.

The main advantage of the new Compact T60 hydro is its outstanding efficiency and performance with regard to water separation. This is achieved without employing potentially environmentally harmful auxiliary chemicals (e.g. fluorine), the use of which is widespread. Cassette filters are the typical choice for the downstream filter stage as they perform well under significant moisture loading. The Viledon spiderMaxx cassette filter, which features hydrophobic filter media, has been designed for such challenging conditions. Effective drainage is provided by vertical arrangement of the pleats and water drainage channels. This ensures smooth operation by reducing the amount of moisture that penetrates into the filter.

Viledon hydro4 filter

Viledon hydroMaxx

Viledon Compact T 60 hydro

Protecting your gas turbines and compressors will soon be even easier. First, the ISO 29461-2 standard will make it easier to compare filter elements in terms of water repellence. Second, new high-performance solutions and product innovations from Freudenberg Filtration Technologies will offer maximum performance and efficiency while also protecting against fog, spray, etc.

Find out more about the water endurance of filter elements and ISO 29461-2.

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