Dryer manufacturers, including Conair, have done a great deal to reduce the amount of energy required to dry a given amount of resin. Today, processors who follow the drying guidelines of the major resin manufacturers can expect their power consumption to be as low as a few hundredths of a kWh/kg of material dried. Even those who run high volumes of materials that dry at higher than average temperatures – like PET for instance – can do so for about 0.07 kWh/kg and even less with specialized heat-recycling technology used in systems like the Conair EnergySmart drying system. That’s how efficient the desiccant dryers of today have become.
Still , with electric utility rates remaining high, and with no prospect of oa significant drop, drying seems to be an unavoidable drag on profitability. The situation becomes even worse when throughput drops – even temporarily – below 100% capacity. That’s because, in most drying systems, drying air volume is fixed. If you are running 1600 lb/hr (727 kg/hr) or running 1000 lb/hr (455 kg/hr), most dryers still generate the same amount of hot dry air and it takes the same amount of energy to produce it regardless of throughput. Just take a look at the following table comparing the energy cost to dry polycarbonate at different throughput rates: