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Firm unveils ‘net zero energy’ compressors

Atlas Copco Compressor DiagramSweden-based Atlas Copco has introduced a breakthrough in air compressors: a Carbon Zero range of products certified as having “net zero energy consumption.”

The compressors feature advanced heat recovery systems that capture 100 per cent of electrical energy input in the form of hot water. The first ever to be certified as net zero energy by the TÜV institute (German Technical Monitoring Association), the compressors can dramatically reduce energy costs for a wide range of industries, according to Atlas Copco.

The Carbon Zero compressors made their UK debut last week at The Energy Event.

“Today our customers face stringent targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” says Stephan Kuhn, president of Atlas Copco’s compressor technique business area. “The Carbon Zero compressor will have significant impact towards preserving the environment and also on our customers’ bottom line. Energy efficiency has been at the core of our product development for a long time. The global need to reduce CO2 emissions confirms we have been, and are, on the right track.”The Carbon Zero innovation provides effective heat transfer, within specific design conditions, of relative humidity so a considerable proportion of electrical power input can be recovered in the form of hot water at 90°C. This could provide significant benefits for industries that use hot water or steam within process operations such as, for example, food and beverage firms or power plants.

By using the compressor output hot water either directly, or as pre-heated boiler feed water, a company can dramatically reduce — or, in some cases, altogether eliminate — its consumption of process heating fuel, along with the associated carbon dioxide emissions.

The independent TÜV institute earlier this year supervised tests on one of Atlas Copco’s compressors with the built-in energy recovery systems. The tests demonstrated that, under specific design conditions, 100 per cent of the electric energy consumed could be recovered for heating water.

Energy saving in compressed air systems is vital, as energy consumption typically represents more than 80 per cent of a compressor’s lifecycle cost. Compressed air systems on average account for approximately 10 per cent of industrial electrical power consumption, and can represent as much as 40 per cent of a plant’s electricity bill.

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