Atlas Copco extends VSD compressor range

Atlas Copco’s range of GA VSD+ oil-injected screw compressors, launched in April 2013, has recently been extended to 37 kilowatt.

The variable speed drive (VSD, frequency-controlled) oil-injected screw compressors offer energy savings and more free-air delivery and a canopy less than half the size of the old fixed-speed model.

Variable speed driven compressors adapt the speed of the compression element to exactly match the compressed air demand: for a standard VSD compressor, this means an energy saving of 35% on average.

The new, in-house developed VSD+ takes that figure higher: an integrated permanent magnet motor drives the VSD+’s screw elements, realizing energy savings of 50% on average, compared to fixed speed models.

With 13% more compressed air output (free air delivery), a VSD+ is even more efficient than its fixed speed counterpart, even at full load.

To make this innovation accessible to all compressor users, it is positioned in the market at the same price level as a standard variable speed drive model.

Koen Lauwers, vice-president marketing from Atlas Copco's industrial air division said: “In the last 8 months, we have succeeded in selling more variable speed drive units. With the introduction of the GA VSD+ 18 to 37 kW, we expect even more VSD sales, more energy savings and a bigger impact on the environment in general. We believe the future of compressors is 100% variable speed drive.”

With the extension to the higher range, up to 37kW, Atlas Copco offers the VSD+ technology to 75% of the oil-injected screw compressors sold worldwide.

The range up to 15 kW launched last April realised a significant increase in what Atlas Copco calls the “VSD ratio”, the relative number of VSD units on the total number of compressors sold. With the larger range, Atlas Copco expects to raise this ratio further.

At the same time, Atlas Copco also introduces as first in the market its “condensation prevention cycle” for VSD compressors. Thanks to an algorithm in the controller of the GA VSD+, the Elektronikon Graphic, condensation in the compression oil is prevented in all circumstances.

This applies even where the compressor is oversized for the application and has to deal with extremely low-load conditions - where the compressor is operated for less than a minute every hour.

This condensation prevention cycle, says Atlas Copco, is another step towards a 100% VSD ratio, as it allows all compressor users to opt for a VSD and save 50% on their compressor’s electricity bill.