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Oil-free rotary screw air compressors

29 May 2018

Atlas Copco has launched the ZR 90-160 VSD+, a new range of oil-free rotary screw air compressors with motor variants of 90, 110, 132, 145 and 160kW. These are said to offer up to 10% more flow and up to 15% less energy consumption compared with other VSD compressors. There is also said to be a 25% reduction in floor-space.

Suitable for applications in the food and beverage, electronics, automotive, textile and pharmaceutical industries – which require oil-free air to guarantee product integrity and quality – the water-cooled ZR 90-160 VSD+ is housed in a soundproof, enclosed canopy and equipped with two high-efficiency permanent magnet motors, plus a new state-of-the-art compressor element and cooler design.

The two permanent magnet motors each independently driving the low and high pressure compression elements. The speed of the elements is controlled using Atlas Copco’s NEOS Variable Speed Drive technology. NEOS optimises the speed of both elements throughout the entire operational speed range of the compressor to maximise unit efficiency. 

The IP66 water-cooled permanent magnet motors contain oil-lubricated bearings to ensure a long maintenance-free lifetime. Moreover, all service parts are grouped together for ease of access for a minimal service time. 

Mark Ranger, business line manager for Oil-Free Air at Atlas Copco UK, comments: “Following years of intensive R&D we’re proud to unveil our latest leap forward in oil-free compressor technology. Not only does the innovative dual-motor concept enhance energy efficiency and output by up to 15 and 10% respectively, but there is the optional benefit of having an integrated, guaranteed -40°C pressure dew-point dryer that offers almost zero energy consumption. This package will offer users true peace of mind, reduced installation materials and a through-life cost of ownership investment lower than any comparable oil-free compressor available today.” 

Atlas Copco’s data monitoring program ‘SMARTLINK’ is integrated as standard in the new range. This remote monitoring system provides analysis of the whole compressed air system, advises users on how they can reduce energy costs and can predict preventive maintenance interventions to avoid potential downtime.   

To illustrate the vast potential of the technology, Atlas Copco recently performed live field tests with a number of customers. This included Italian-beer brand Peroni, who trialled a ZR 160 kW VSD+ oil-free compressor for over 6000 running hours at its production site in Padova. As this video highlights, the company was impressed with its reliability, guaranteed oil-free air quality and level of support from Atlas Copco. 

As an added benefit, the re-designed cooler incorporates a highly efficient water separator. Parallel water flow optimises cooling of the motor, element and the cooler itself. Meanwhile, enlarged stainless steel surface coolers improve cooling efficiency and ensure optimum performance over a long lifetime. 

Furthermore, all components in the compressor element, such as the rotor profiles, smart inlet and rotor coating have been enhanced for maximum efficiency and durability, and ensure a guaranteed supply of Class 0 oil-free air.

The ZR 90-160 VSD+ can be offered with an Atlas Copco Total Responsibility Service Plan, which takes care of all compressor maintenance, upgrades, repairs and possible breakdowns throughout the life of the compressor.