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CompAir delivers a sea change in energy efficiency

01 June 2008

Energy costs account for more than 80% of a compressor’s total cost of ownership over its lifetime, so CompAir has engineered a number of power-saving technologies into its new Quantima compressor, which was launched at this year’s Hanover Fair.

These include a low off-load power consumption (just 2.5%), no contact losses and no performance degradation over the lifetime of the unit - features that combine to give energy savings of up to 25%, according to CompAir. The company estimates that a customer replacing an existing compressor with a new, 300kW Quantima unit and making energy reductions of only 20% would save €480,000 over a ten-year operating cycle (base of calculation: 8,000 hours a year at €0.10/kWh for ten years).

At the heart of Quantima is the Q-drive compression assembly featuring active, electromagnetic bearings; essentially, the entire assembly has just one moving part, spinning in a magnetic field. Unlike conventional compressors, Q-drive has no gearbox, no oil, no contact and no wear. This simple construction means that there is no performance degradation over the life of the compressor, unlike other standard technologies where degradation of coatings and friction between multiple moving parts can compromise efficiency and lead to a reduction in airflow.

All Quantima compressors include a variable speed drive as standard to minimise off-load running and to ensure efficient operation at all times. The variable-speed drive matches air output automatically to plant requirements, so precisely the right amount of air is produced at any given time. And when a Quantima compressor needs to run off-load, it consumes just 2.5% or 7kW for a 300kW compressor, helping operators to limit energy use when the process does not require compressed air. Conventional technologies, on the other hand, can consume huge amounts of electricity while the compressor is idling in off-load mode.


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