Water Removal System for Atmospheric Breathing Lubricant Reservoirs

Free-flowing nitrogen blankets 

TMR™ N₂ systems produce ≥97% N₂ gas that is extremely dry (-67.8°C / -90°F dew point and <0.01% relative humidity) using a small amount of standard compressed air at ambient conditions (24˚C / 75˚F). The N₂ gas is introduced into the reservoir headspace at a point above the lubricant surface, forming a nitrogen blanket. As the clean, dry N₂ gas sweeps across the reservoir, it will absorb water vapour, which is forced out of lubricant as it moves towards moisture equilibrium with the nitrogen blanket. TMR™ N₂ systems reverse the normal reservoir breathing cycle so that reservoirs are always discharging a small amount of high purity N₂. In this configuration, reservoirs will be continually insulated with a free-flowing nitrogen blanket, which eliminates the ingression of atmospheric water, particulate, and metal ions. Lubricant and hydraulic reservoirs, operating in seawater environments, and heavy industrial or agricultural regions can accumulate soluble metal ions, which are catalysts that accelerate lubricant breakdown.

Moving beyond water removal to managing oxidation levels

TMR™ N₂ systems offer the additional benefit of eliminating fluid contact with oxygen, which along with water and metals, comprise three primary catalysts of oxidation. Therefore, these systems offer users the ability to move beyond reactionary maintenance and actually manage the factors that accelerate oxidation. By continually managing water and oxygen levels and by eliminating metal ion ingression from the atmosphere, users can lower the rate of lubricant breakdown, reducing maintenance requirements and extending fluid life.

Long-life, low-cost systems with minimal maintenance 

TMR™ N₂ systems have very low maintenance requirements. Two inlet air filters need to be replaced every six months to remove residual oil from the compressed air source, which would otherwise reduce system life. With appropriate maintenance, TMR™ N₂ systems should last eight years or longer, at which time only the generation unit would need to be replaced. The total cost of ownership of a TMR™ N₂ system over eight years is estimated to be $5,500 – $8,000 in total (depending on size), which in many cases is $50,000 lower than mechanical systems frequently used in these applications. That is a return on investment (ROI) of $44,500 or 809%. When you consider that one TMR™ N₂ system can be shared between two reservoirs that are close in proximity, the ROI is even more dramatic.

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