Re-engineered compressors ‘breaking air delivery records’

Paul Boughton
Atlas Copco’s newly launched improvements to its 11-30 kW GA+/GA VSD compressor range have resulted in what it claims to be world-class Free Air Delivery (FAD).

These oil-injected compressors are probably one of the world’s most compact and silent ever to operate on a work floor in this kW range. A new integrated dryer enhances energy efficiency and air quality simultaneously. Now all standard models are built to operate in ambient temperatures of up to 46°C (114.8°F), offer intuitive monitoring interfaces and are equipped with a robust, high efficiency gearbox, completely protected against dirt.

Atlas Copco has redesigned and upgraded its fixed speed compressor, the GA 11+-30 and the variable speed version, the GA 15-30 VSD. To better match air flow to customers’ requirements and eliminate the need to oversize, Atlas Copco has introduced a 26 kW model which is also available with the new generation VSD introduced with the launch. This range of small GA+/GA VSD compressors is used in a variety of applications and industries including workshops, assembly, packaging, automotive, woodworking, printing, textiles, construction materials manufacturing, plastics production and moulding and oil and gas activities.

Greater Free Air Delivery (FAD) means that customers can select smaller compressors for the same applications, saving money and energy. All of the models in the GA+/GA VSD ranges offer world-class FAD. Atlas Copco’s engineering breakthroughs have increased FAD of the GA+ by a minimum of 7 per cent and even up to 17 per cent compared to the previous GA models. For the GA VSD, the improvement spans from 9 per cent to 24 per cent.

Specific Energy Requirement (SER) is the true measure of how much electricity a compressor will use. With improvements of 3-11 per cent for the GA+ and 11-13 per cent for the GA VSD, the newly launched compressors from Atlas Copco have one of the best SERs achievable today, making them amongst the most energy efficient on the market.
Energy consumption can be reduced even further in the full feature version by integrating the dryer in the unit.

The new generation technology of the variable speed drive (VSD) increases performance, shows lower sensitivity to dust and achieves standard very low harmonic distortion. Energy savings of 35 per cent on average can be obtained by adopting a VSD model (instead of a GA+), resulting in faster payback times.

Additionally, 80 per cent of the compressor’s energy consumption can be recuperated (eg for water and air heating in industrial processes or for direct use on site) with the now standard option to connect an energy recovery system.

Size and noise are both barriers to installing compressors closer to where air is used. The further away they are installed, the more energy is lost through pressure drops. Pressure drops of just 0.5 bar(e) with a 22 kW machine are equivalent to the electricity consumption of one household.

With a very small footprint, each of the new GA+/GAVSD models in this range now takes up even less space. They are characterised by the lowest noise levels ever achieved by Atlas Copco in this range, bringing them to a leading position; with the GA 11+ as silent as 63 dBA. All enhancements have a direct positive impact in workshop environments by improving operator comfort.

The new and improved graphical Elektronikon raises Atlas Copco’s standards in control and monitoring. The re-engineered GA+/GA VSD is the first compressor range to be equipped with this user-friendly controller developed by Atlas Copco engineers. Its unique control algorithms save energy by operating the compressor at optimal levels while the advanced timers optimise servicing intervals.

Energy consumption is further reduced by the Patented Saver Cycles that control both the fan and optional dryer.

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