Compressor gets a new sideways look

As well as being quite noisy, compressors are not always the simplest pieces of equipment to service and maintain

Problem: , which is why most manufacturers are now looking at ways to improve their designs, including reducing the size and number of component parts. And your average compressor also has oil leaks to contend with and often has a belt, pulley or coupling which will need servicing or replacing at set intervals. Solution: Compressor manufacturer CompAir has taken a sideways look at the design of its Hydrovane direct drive rotary vane compressor. The result is a totally streamlined, modern-looking vertical compressor that has a much closer integration of drive and compressor element engineered to create a high efficiency, low maintenance model that sits in a footprint less than half the size of the basic horizontal configuration. The design has a unique 'no drive' system with the rotor fitting directly onto the electric motor shaft. This means there's no need for belts, pulleys or couplings in the design. And, the potential for oil leaks has been reduced by the removal of all gaskets from the design – the compressor is totally sealed with O-rings now. Quick-release screws also facilitate the removal of the front and top ABS panels to give instant access to the 'spin off' service items. Noise levels on the design have also been reduced, with sound-reducing foam fitted to each panel of the compressor. The new range consists of 14 models covering 4kW, 5.5kW and 7.5kW electric motor sizes. Included in the range is an integrated thermal mass refrigerant dryer and filter module, designed so that any of the models can bolt onto it, creating a self-contained 'air centre' retaining the footprint and ensuring a supply of high quality air. There's also a 'super energy efficient' model available in the 7.5kW size, which has an onboard inverter drive to regulate the motor speed to match system demand. Applications: Many process manufacturers that use tens or hundreds of air compressors across a plant will clearly benefit from having a lower-maintenance, smaller and easier-to-service model. CompAir's MD Duncan Scott comments: "While major developments have seen increasing efficiency, reduced noise and improved reliability, one feature that has not changed is the motor/compressor package, which has remained horizontal. The pulse free air is ultra clean and is delivered at a temperature slightly above ambient enabling easy removal of condensate." DP