Members of Atlas Copco’s global product team launched the new GA VSD+ range of compact, oil-injected, rotary screw compressors that can reduce energy consumption by 50 percent compared to a traditional load/unload compressor of the same type.
The new range was designed with energy efficiency and customer needs in mind, with a motor that significantly exceeds the latest NEMA Premium efficiency requirements. Built upwards, like a mini skyscraper, the motor and drive train share a single drive shaft and are vertically aligned, reducing the total footprint by up to 55 percent compared to other compressors on the market. In addition, the motor drive train is completely enclosed, resulting in a NEMA 4 rating for protection against dust, debris and water. A single closed oil-circuit cools the motor and lubricates the element and bearings, resulting in a very reliable and compact compressor that is also extremely quiet (down to 62 dBA).
IMPO magazine talked to John Senay, Product Marketing Manager- Piston and Oil Injected Screws <30kW with Atlas Copco Compressors about the latest in energy-efficient compressor technology, NEMA Premium Efficiency requirements, and the future of energy efficiency.
Q: How are the latest energy-efficient compressor technologies becoming even more energy efficient?
In the last twelve months, the compressor industry has seen the release of several innovative, patented air compressor technologies that significantly reduce energy consumption. These recent advancements derive from improvements throughout the compressor design and contribute to dramatic increases in energy efficiency.
One of the most efficient compressor designs prior to 2013 was the variable speed drive (VSD) compressor, which provided average energy savings of 35 percent compared to a traditional load/unload compressor of the same type. After years of research and development, Atlas Copco has increased energy efficiency by up to 50 percent by revolutionizing the design of the VSD compressor and launching the VSD+ product line. These compressors use a vertically-aligned design where motor and drive train share a single drive shaft that significantly reduces the footprint, allowing the compressor to be installed closer to the point of use. The introduction of a single, closed oil-circuit that cools the motor while lubricating the element and bearings contributes to a more reliable compressor. A fan design that mimics the wings of an owl contributes to a highly efficient cooling mechanism while simultaneously decreasing noise levels.
All of these little changes make a big impact when combined in one air compressor. The simplified design of these compressors, coupled with advancements in technology, provide energy savings throughout the entire lifetime of the compressor.