Hardy, Mark James (2010-12). Reducing Air Compressor Work by Using Inlet Air Cooling and Dehumidification. Master's Thesis.
Air compressor systems play a large role in modern industry. These compressors can account for a significant portion of a manufacturing facility's electric consumption and any increase in efficiency can lead to economic benefits. Air compressors are sensitive to ambient conditions, as evidenced by the fact that compressing cooler and drier air decreases the amount of work required to compress the air.
A thermodynamic model of an air compressor system was developed and several cases were run by using both vapor compression and absorption cycle chillers to cool and dehumidify the inlet air. The results show that the performance increases as much as 8 percent for the compressor system with absorption inlet cooling and as much as 5 percent when using vapor compression inlet cooling. Climates with higher humidity and temperatures can see the most benefits from inlet air cooling and dehumidification.