Does Cold Weather Impact Nitrogen?
Nitrogen gas is one of the most valuable resources utilized in modern industrial manufacturing. Several industrial processes use nitrogen gas all year round, raising the question of the impact of cold weather on gas use. This article will discuss the performance of nitrogen gas in cold weather as well as effective strategies for maintaining gas generation equipment in low ambient temperatures.
Can You Use Nitrogen Gas in Winter?
The simple answer to this is yes. Nitrogen can be effectively used for various purposes, even in winter. The freezing point of nitrogen under atmospheric pressure conditions is -346°F. This is considerably lower than the typical industrial temperatures obtained in winter. As such, nitrogen gas for industrial use will retain its unique physical and chemical properties needed to drive industrial production even in extreme winter conditions.
Further, molecular nitrogen liquefies at -320.4°F to produce liquid nitrogen or LN2. Nitrogen in this liquefied state has a myriad of commercial and industrial applications.
In summary, nitrogen gas can be used year-round, even in sub-zero temperatures to drive small- and large-scale processing/manufacturing applications.
Cold Weather Nitrogen Performance
Like all other chemical elements, compounds, and mixtures, gaseous nitrogen is subject to pressure changes with varying temperatures. As the temperature drops, so does the gaseous nitrogen pressure per physics laws. However, high purity nitrogen gas produced by gas generators contains less moisture and fewer impurities than air, making it more stable with less erratic pressure changes with temperature drops. Consequently, nitrogen gas can be used effectively in cold thermal conditions with fewer adjustments in operating pressures.
Nitrogen Generator Winter Maintenance
The maintenance of nitrogen generators in winter is very similar to what is recommended for the other seasons. The key consideration should be the elimination of contaminants that can damage sensitive equipment components.
Outlined below are essential steps in ensuring your nitrogen generator keeps functioning optimally even in winter.
Regular Equipment Cleaning
Routinely cleaning your nitrogen generator is recommended to prolong its lifespan and maintain efficiency. All parts of the generator should be carefully cleaned to remove moisture and particulate impurity build-ups while avoiding the device’s electrical components.
Keeping an Eye on Gauges and Indicator Lights
Standard nitrogen generators have a control panel built into their faces with various gauges and indicators that can alert their operators of the need for action. Careful monitoring and timely responses to indicator warnings such as leaks and valve failures will prolong the equipment lifespan through the extremes of weather, including winter.
Regular Filter Replacement
Most nitrogen generators integrate carbon and coalescing filter units. Regularly changing these filters following recommendations by the generator manufacturers will ensure the nitrogen production process remains optimized.
Valve and Sensor Replacement
Standard nitrogen generation units possess oxygen sensors that require changing every few years. Additionally, equipment valves wear out over time and should be replaced where necessary.
Correct Start-up and Shut-down Procedure
Nitrogen generators not actively in use should be turned on and off following recommendations from the manufacturers. Depending on equipment specifications, most manufacturers supply start-up and shut-down instruction manuals that should be adhered to by equipment operators. Bypassing start-up steps or leaving generators running idle is not recommended if equipment longevity is desired.
Contact NiGen for High-Quality Generators
If you are looking to optimize your industrial nitrogen-associated processes, NiGen is the right fit for you. We offer comprehensive nitrogen generator installation and maintenance on an outright purchase or rental.