Ventilex Shaking Fluid Bed Frac Sand Dryer is more Energy Efficient
Use this BTU calculator for an estimate of how much you can save when you choose a Ventilex system.
See our web site specifically for sand drying at www.sanddryer.com
“Frac sand” is the common term for hard, spherical sand used as proppant in natural gas extraction. The sand, meeting strict API specs for spherical shape, hardness and size, is used to fill and make porous the cracks in the rock after hydraulic fracturing so the gas can escape from the shale and be captured. Typically, the sand is mined, washed and screened and stored in piles for supply of various grades of frac sand. The sand needs to be dried to the required moisture content before it can be sold or further processed to add a resin coating.
Many rotary dryers must be set up to over dry the product to be certain that the product meets specs. This assumes “more heat is better” to complete the process and “hot sand is dry sand.” Rotary dryers would be more efficient if the input moisture content was consistent, but this is not realistic. In reality, the moisture content of the product entering the dryer varies throughout the day. The moisture content in sand from stockpiles can vary from 4% to 8% because the edges of the stockpile dry out first. Since sand drying systems are typically specified to reduce output moisture content to 0.5%, rotary dryer operators must set the heat for the wettest sand expected. This commonly leads to over-heating with the sand exiting dryers at more than 200° F [93° C]. While the sand isn’t affected by these temperatures, it obviously wastes money.
Our frac sand dryers feature sophisticated control systems that are capable of adjusting the burner perfectly in real time to match whatever moisture content is in the sand at any point in time, which results in a perfectly dried product without the added expense of overheating it.
The Ventilex shaking fluid bed dryer performs the process more efficiently and sand leaves the dryer at less than 165° F [74° C]. The obvious question is “how can sand be dry at this temperature if other machines require such a higher temp?” The answer is the evaporative effect. Think about how you feel when you get out of a pool on a dry, hot summer day. The air cools your skin, despite being so warm. As long as your skin remains damp from the pool water, you remain cool, but once you dry, you get hot again.
The same phenomenon occurs with the sand in a Ventilex dryer. The dryer’s control system uses a very hot stream of air that evaporates the water in the sand, but discharges as soon as the water evaporates. There is no wasted energy used to heat the sand, making it a far more efficient, cost-effective process.
Lower Operating Costs with Ventilex Frac Sand Dryers
The control system utilized by Ventilex has been perfected over the past 20 years in over 800 applications – over 250 of them in minerals and aggregates. The control system is ideally matched to fluid bed dryer systems. The system uses predictive logic to perfectly match burner power to the moisture content of the sand – not too dry, never wet, but to spec. As a result, the energy usage is far less than any other system.