22 July, 2024

Gardner Denver’s CompAir extends oil-free Ultima compressor range

07 June, 2019

Gardner Denver has released a new air-cooled version of its Ultima technology, which is claimed to be the first ever air-cooled oil-free compressor to offer heat recovery for process water.

According to Gardner Denver, with the air-cooled model capable of recovering up to 98% of heat generated during compression, cost savings of approximately £70,000 are possible (with both the air-cooled Ultima and competitor model operated at 20m3/min, 8 bar, for 4,000 hours a year).

The technology’s patented closed package cooling system means the energy captured when compressing air can be used to provide process water heating, delivering usable water temperatures of up to 85degC.

Extra flexibility

Its hybrid cooling capabilities offer extra flexibility for the user too. Operators can choose between either air-cooling, water-cooling or both, depending on the most economic means of cooling at the time. For example, air-cooling might be more cost-effective to use during the winter period, as the heated cooling air can then be re-purposed for space heating in a facility. On the other hand, during summer months, when there is no demand for space heating, a water-cooled operating mode might be more economic.

The air-cooled Ultima compressor is said to offer cost savings of up to 13% when compared with industry standards, even without the additional application of heat recovery. Due to the speed-regulated fans, the power consumption in standard ambient conditions or at partial load is reduced even further.

Its highly-engineered oil-free airends, designed and manufactured at Gardner Denver’s Centre of Excellence in Simmern, Germany, feature a special coating to help protect the machinery and avoid performance degradation throughout its lifetime.

Ultima is also the quietest compressor in its class, with noise levels not exceeding 70 dB(a) for the air-cooled model. For those deciding to operate the compressor at the point of use, this low noise level is yet another benefit.

Requiring up to 37% less floor space

Ultima also requires up to 37% less floor space than a conventional two-stage oil-free compressor, enabling an easy installation in the smallest possible space. Its highly-efficient internal cooling also means adjacent compressors can be sited close to one another, further optimising the available space.

Ultima is available with a pressure range from 4 to 10 bar, volume flow from 6.7 to 23.9 m3/min at 8 bar, and motor power from 75 to 160 kW. The technology is equipped with iConn, Gardner Denver’s digital analytics platform, too, helping operators to measure, optimise and improve compressed air usage.

The design of the Ultima compressor features two highly efficient, permanent magnetic motors that replace the traditional gearbox set-up. These variable-speed motors are claimed to be able to achieve speeds of up to 22,000 RPM and efficiencies greater than IE4.

Traditional models rely on a gearbox, which creates friction and results in efficiency losses, while also requiring high volumes of oil to lubricate the gears. In contrast, Ultima’s motors directly drive the airend without the need for a gearbox, continuously monitoring and adjusting the speed of each airend. This ensures maximum efficiency and pressure ratios at all times.

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