The next-generation VSD offers 60 per cent energy savings and smart, flexible operation. Delfin Perozo, product manager for oil–injected screw compressors at Atlas Copco Compressors Australia, explains.
Atlas Copco has announced the launch of a new generation of its VSD compressors. With energy savings of 60 per cent, the GA VSDˢ is the most energy-efficient, sustainable compressor ever built. Thanks to its pioneering smart features, it can adapt and optimise its operation for each customer. This new technology will be available first in the 22-37 kW GA oil-injected screw compressor range.
The GA VSDˢ is the third generation of Atlas Copco variable speed drive (VSD) compressors. VSD compressors reduce energy consumption by adjusting their motor speed to the fluctuations in compressed air demand. When Atlas Copco introduced the technology, a first-generation VSD compressor achieved energy savings of up to 35 per cent compared to a fixed-speed compressor. That number increased to 50 per cent when the VSD+ was launched. Now, the GA VSDˢ offers energy savings of 60 per cent.
“We are used to big numbers when it comes to our Variable Speed Drive compressors, but that 60 per cent is an important barrier to break. The GA VSDˢ is simply the most efficient rotary screw compressor ever built. Its impact on the energy costs and environmental footprint of our customers will be massive,” said Delfin Perozo, product manager for oil-injected screw compressors in Atlas Copco Compressors Australia.
“When Atlas Copco introduced the first VSD compressor more than 20 years ago, we could not imagine that there would ever be another compressor that would so drastically change the industry. And yet, here we are, doing it for the third time with this third generation of VSD technology. It is the result of continuous investment in innovation. But more importantly, it is the result of the expertise and the hard work of our development teams. It is as though they reinvented the compressor – looking at every single component to figure out how we can make a revolutionary product even better, even more efficient, even more reliable, and even more sustainable.”
Its unrivalled energy efficiency makes the GA VSDˢ the most sustainable compressor available on the market today. Atlas Copco has tested the new VSDˢ before doing the formal launching to real customers. One of the new GA 37 VSDˢ was tested by a German logistic company over the past few months. This customer will be able to reduce its compressed air system related CO2 emissions by 60 metric tons per year.
Sustainability was also a guiding principle in the design of the GA VSDˢ. In addition to its minimal number of components, it is the first compressor to feature a super high efficiency IE5 ferrite-assisted synchronous reluctance motor, because it does not rely on rare earth materials.
“The VSDˢ offers true sustainable innovation,” said Perozo. “As climate change affects us all, Atlas Copco has made sustainable productivity our number one focus. There is no better example than the GA VSDˢ not only meeting today’s standards but also those of tomorrow. It’s a truly transformative compressor for a rapidly changing industry. We also choose not to use rare earth materials in our new motor design. That may seem like a small thing, but it illustrates how important sustainability is to us.”
Smart, solid performance
The GA VSDˢ has a 21 per cent higher Free Air Delivery than its fixed-speed counterparts. “This means that for the same power you get 21 per cent more air. With a VSDˢ, customers can save on investment and operational costs,” said Perozo. “Many can buy a lower kW model and still get the air they need. And they can save on service costs thanks to its intelligent features.”
The unit introduces several smart features that allow it to adapt and optimise its performance to each customer’s applications, requirements, and conditions. The most important example is the Smart Temperature Control (STC) system, which ensures that the compressor operates with an optimal oil temperature at all times. As a result, it eliminates the risk of condensation in the oil while ensuring maximum compression efficiency.
“This first time you can call a compressor smart, and Atlas Copco is all about being the first in innovation – the product not only adapts to the circumstances which the customers operate. They don’t always have the same use for compressed air – the VSDˢ adapts to the air demand profile of the customer, it also adapts its oil injection temperature to the optimum point not only changing the speed of the cooling fan but using the STC system. And it is constantly monitoring the condensate in the air produced by the compressor in the smart drain. When you put all those features together that is what that makes it unique,” said Perozo.
The GA VSDˢ also comes with the all-new Boost Flow Mode, which gives customers the freedom to exceed their compressor’s maximum capacity temporarily and safely – should customers see the need for it in their production for short periods of time.
The GA VSDˢ comes with a range of connectivity features. These include its advanced Elektronikon® MK5S Touch controller, the EQ2i multiple compressor control (integrated as standard), SMARTLINK remote monitoring and analysis, and OPC UA integration for connected production environments.
“Connectivity is something that we have spent a lot of time developing, like the OPC UA, which allows customers to bring all their machines into one environment – it’s like an interface that can control everything,” said Perozo.
Small and silent
With sound levels as low as 63 dB, the GA 22-37 VSDˢ does not require a compressor room. It can be installed on the production floor. Due to its vertical, compact design, the compressor takes up minimal space.
GA 22-37 VSDˢ
Perozo explained that Joeri Ooms, president of Atlas Copco’s Industrial Air Division, said when he introduced this compressor range few weeks ago, that the VSDˢ is not just a new generation of VSD compressors, but it is the compressor for a new generation – a true sustainable innovation. Ooms said that Atlas Copco’s products are at the cutting edge of technology and allow its customers to not only meet today’s standards, but also those of tomorrow.
“Climate change is having a direct impact on our lives. Sustainability is no longer an option, but something we must achieve. We must make a meaningful difference together, not in some distant future but right now. Atlas Copco is ready to seize this mantle of responsibility – because we have never been satisfied with the status quo and will always keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible,” Ooms had said during the introduction of the VSDˢ.
The VSDˢ offers the best return of investment because it is the most smart, sustainable, energy efficient compressor, is reliable and maximises its uptime. The VSDˢ will be first made available in the 22-37 kW range of Atlas Copco’s GA oil-injected screw range. It can be pre ordered in Australia now with the first units arriving to stock early in 2022.