Atlas Copco's net zero energy consumption compressors recover energy in the form of hot water
Atlas Copco’s ZR Series 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.
Energy savings in compressed air systems are important since energy consumption typically represents more than 80% of a compressor’s life-cycle 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.
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 applications. However, the industries that will benefit the most are those that have a continuous need for hot water and steam in their processes. 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 reduced or eliminated.