Among the several applications of a pressure vessel, the humidity separator is likely the most simple and versatile. Its peculiarity lies in taking advantage of two universal principles like centrifugal force and inertia.
Whenever the substance to be dehumified (whether it's steam or compressed, or a different type of fluid) enters the separator, it starts spinning rapidly as an effect of the internal structure of the vessel, which is equipped with a group of small plates (called vane pack), which force the fluid to make continuous changes of direction.
The molecules with a higher weight (water and other types of impurities) will tend to keep a straight trajectory and will therefore separate. Finally, they are trapped into specific canals inside the vane pack end expelled.
Thanks to its particular internal structure, a humidity separator won't need any moving part.
Humidity separators can be either horizontal or vertical (in this example, you can see a horizontal separator we designed for Ansaldo, shipped to the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority).
In a horizontal vessel, the separation is more efficient, as the drops of humidity won't need to settle at the bottom, nor to be lifted upwards. Further, whenever foam is formed because of separation, the bubbles will dissolve more easily in a horizontal vessel, thanks a more extended surface.
On the other hand, a vertical separator is more efficient for the removal of solid impurities, and also allows for a better handling of the internal movement, thanks to its reduced horizontal surface.
There are also obvious difference in terms of required space. While a vertical separator will take less space (which is especially important for offshore oil platforms, where each square meter is precious), a horizontal vessel will perfectly integrate with the direction of the flow of the plant, with no need to reroute it up or downwards.