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Atlas Copco First to Offer Net Zero Energy Consumption Compressors

June 30, 2009
Atlas Copco’s Oil-free Air division has announced that the company’s ZR Series of water-cooled, oil-free air compressors with built-in energy recovery systems are the first in the world to be TÜV certified for net zero energy consumption. In specific design conditions, 100% of the electrical power needed to run an Atlas Copco ZR 55-750 water-cooled, oil-free screw compressor can be recovered in the form of hot water. 
      
Industries that use a large amount of hot water and steam, such as food and beverage, dairy, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, chemical and petrochemical, power plants, clean rooms, and textiles, can dramatically reduce their energy bills by utilizing the world’s first Carbon Zero compressors.
       
“Through a cutting-edge feat of engineering, under perfect conditions our ZR Series of water-cooled, oil-free air compressors with built-in energy recovery systems allows facilities to recover 100% of the electrical energy input,” said Paul Humphreys, vice president communications and branding, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC. “At higher temperatures and relative humidity it is even possible to recover more than 100% of the electrical energy input, while in the average manufacturing environment, with lower temperatures and relative humidity, the recovery will amount to 90 to 95%. This is a very significant amount of energy savings.”
      
Energy savings in compressed air systems are important as energy consumption typically represents more than 80% of a compressor’s lifecycle cost. While compressed air systems account for an average of approximately 10% of all industrial electricity consumption, compressed air costs can be as high as 40% of a plant’s electricity bill. For this reason, Atlas Copco has been researching and developing energy-efficient compressed air solutions for many years.
      
“Today, our customers face stringent targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” Humphreys added. “Our newly certified Carbon Zero compressors offer our customers a double-win with enormous environmental benefits along with increased profitability.”
      
The independent Technische Überwachungs-Verein (German Technical Monitoring Association, or “TÜV”) earlier this year supervised the type-testing of Atlas Copco’s ZR 55-750 water-cooled, oil-free screw compressors, equipped with built-in energy recovery systems. The testing process involved real-time measurement of the electrical power input and the output power as hot water. The two measurements were then compared. It was proven that under the specific design conditions of 40°C and 70% relative humidity, 100% of the input electrical power could be recovered.
      
While an Atlas Copco Carbon Zero compressor compresses air, the input electrical energy is converted into heat. This heat appears at the compression elements, the oil cooler, intercooler and aftercooler. The built-in energy recovery system circulates cooling water through all of these components and, as a result of the heat transfer, yields hot water at up to 90°C.
      
Most industries can make use of hot water for space heating, showers, and other such applications. However, the industries that will benefit the most are those that have a continuous need for hot water and steam in their processes. Typical process hot water and steam users include food and milk processing plants (scalding, cleaning, sterilization, and melting), pulp and paper industry (in the digester and evaporators, in bleaching and pulping), textile industry (dyeing and stabilization of manmade fibers), pharmaceutical industry (fermentation and sterilization), refineries, chemical, and petrochemical plants (steam distillation, enhanced recovery, stripping, and heat tracing), power plants (electricity generation), and clean rooms (humidification).
      
Hot water or steam is normally generated using industrial boilers that consume electricity or fuels like heating oil or natural gas. When using hot water from the compressor, either directly or as pre-heated boiler feed water, the consumption of fuel can be either dramatically reduced or be eliminated. This results in significant energy savings.

For more information, visit www.carbonzerocompressors.com.