Air compressors and associated technologies are transforming to meet contemporary industrial needs. New portable compressors and updated piston, screw, and centrifugal compressors feature advanced designs and capabilities. Intelligent compressor monitoring and distinctive air dryer technology are delivering further maintenance and environmental benefits.
Electric portable air compressors deliver efficiency and agility. The MOBILAIR M250 and M255E electric portable compressors from Kaeser Compressors can serve temporary or short-term needs, longer-term mobile needs, or can be permanent outdoor installations feeding into a plant.
“The alternatives are expensive outdoor enclosures for standard electric units or portable diesel compressors. Portable diesel units are often used in these situations and are widely available from Kaeser and many other compressor manufacturers, but electric driven compressors are cleaner and more energy efficient than portable diesel units,” says Neil Mehltretter, technical director at Kaeser Compressors. They also don’t need refueling and have no engine emissions as diesel units do, and they are quieter, he adds.
Another example is the new E1035H electric portable compressor from Hitachi Global Air Power (formerly Sullair). It provides “the same reliability, durability, and performance” as its diesel counterparts and was developed in response to growing demand for greener compressed air solutions.
The E1035H is different not only because it is 100% electric, but also because “it utilizes Sullair’s exclusive Electronic Spiral Valve Technology, which enables the user to match the compressor’s output to the application demand for greater efficiency—even in harsh and dirty environments,” explains Jerel Cole, senior product manager at Hitachi Global Air Power. “Additionally, because our customers often work in dirty environments, the patent-pending swing-out cooler design makes for easy cleaning, service, and maintenance for technicians.”
Proven approaches are getting innovative upgrades. The recently announced G5A-60V single-stage air compressor from Jenny Products has a 60-gallon vertical air tank, 5-hp industrial-grade motor, cast-iron compressor pump, and is UL Listed. Reciprocating piston compressors are a mature product category, but modern machining processes have played a key role in increasing pump longevity and performance, says Dan Leiss, president of Jenny Products.
“Like all Jenny air compressors, the G5A-60V is built to be durable. It has a heavy-duty cast-iron pump, ASME certified tank, and thermal-overload protection that saves the electric motor from overheating by preventing it from drawing too much current,” Leiss adds.
The S-4 series of screw compressors from BOGE now covers the entire 45 to 150 kW performance range. Models in the newer 45 to 75 kW performance range extend the benefits of the series to more sensitive environments, including areas where temperatures can exceed 40 °C. They also have a considerably smaller housing and come with high-performance, low-energy IE4 motors as standard.
The new extension of the S-4 family offers “a smaller footprint, increased capacity or flow, improved efficiency of 12% or more, quieter operation, and simple and safe maintenance,” says Scott Dubov, general manager of BOGE America. “Some models now utilize permanent magnet motors, and all have variable cooling fan control.”
Modern options and components
The ECO-Turbo series centrifugal air compressor from FS-Curtis is the outcome of a vision: to engineer a compressor that not only delivers uncompromising power but also minimizes its environmental impact, delivering ISO 8573, Class 0, oil-free air. “The ECO-Turbo Series, available in either an air or water-cooled design, achieves this delicate balance, amplifying efficiency and performance while significantly reducing maintenance demands and fostering sustainable practices,” says Shawn Drwal, product manager at FS-Curtis.
Real-time, remote monitoring of FS-Curtis compressors is enabled by FS-SmartConnect, an internet of things (IoT) solution. From a cloud-based platform, customers gain immediate access to vital information on operations, maintenance, health, and energy assessments of their compressors, regardless of their location or the time of day, explains Drwal.
The range of Cerades solid desiccant air dryers from Atlas Copco now includes smaller CD+ dryer sizes. The patented Cerades structured desiccant has several advantages over standard commercially available desiccant beads, according to Dryer Media Taskforce Leader Chiara De Timmerman. For one, it reduces the pressure drop in the air flow, resulting in dry compressed air delivery at PDP -40 °C with improved energy efficiency.
“Secondly, the solid structure of Cerades allows significant dryer size reduction and freedom of orientation during installation (vertical or horizontal). Additionally, there are important health and environmental benefits; because this material does not decay in time, no dust is released into the atmosphere,” adds De Timmerman.