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Battery-driven portable screw compressor unveiled

An image of Atlas Copco's first battery driven screw B-Air 185-12 compressor

SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE Atlas Copco's B-Air 185-12 is the first battery driven screw compressor

14th July 2023

     

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Solutions provider Atlas Copco unveiled its new battery-driven portable screw air compressor, the B-Air 185-12, at Atlas Copco’s ‘Journey to a Sustainable Future’ event in Antwerp, Belgium, in May this year.

The ‘B-Air’ marks a “defining moment” in the global industrial marketplace’s transformation towards a low-carbon future, says Atlas Copco. The B-Air 185-12 is scheduled to go into production in September, using a compact and modular concept with multiple autonomy variants.

Aligned with its progressive shift to more sustainable products, Atlas Copco has expanded its portable electric product portfolio to include an all-new battery-driven portable screw air compressor.

“We are committed to accelerating the transition away from carbon-dependency and towards renewable-energy sources,” says Atlas Copco Portable Air division product marketing manager: sustainability and digitalisation Maarten Vermeiren.

The B-Air 185-12 is the first of its kind within the global industrial marketplace and represents a major milestone in Atlas Copco’s roadmap towards a sustainable future.

“By introducing the first battery portable screw compressor, we want to play our part in enabling a sustainable transformation and help build a better tomorrow – for society and the planet alike,” Vermeiren adds.

“Atlas Copco is proud to be committed to our industry’s fight against climate change by developing the first battery-driven screw compressor. “The B-Air 185-12 is a tangible symbol of our commitment to delivering real-world solutions to help our customers and their customers adopt a more sustainable way of working, and to turning the tide on climate change,” says Atlas Copco Portable Air division president Bert Derom.

“We ultimately want to offer a sustainable alternative to every user and every application, and this new battery-powered unit is a leap closer to that goal.”

Clean Power

The B-Air 185-12 features 5 bar to 12 bar of pressure, a stable flow rate of 5.4 m3/min to 3.7 m3/min and 55-kWh battery storage capacity. With power delivered from its onboard power pack, a fully charged unit is independent of the need for fuel or a local power source to plug into and has the capability to perform for up to a full typical work shift in operation. In turn, it provides both portability and productivity for those working on sites where regular access to electricity is not practical.

Making the switch from an internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric motor brings with it a host of benefits, including less downtime and fewer maintenance requirements.

Owing to having far fewer moving – and therefore wearing – parts compared with a diesel-powered unit, the electric B-Air 185-12 only needs to be serviced every 2 000 hours, as opposed to 500 hours for a typical ICE-powered unit.

The machine’s variable-speed drive (VSD) and permanent magnet motor drives down the total cost of ownership, automatically adjusting the motor speed to match air demand in real time and increasing energy efficiency by up to 70%.

Through Atlas Copco’s rigorous testing process, which includes rapid ageing testing under harsh conditions and climactic chamber testing, the B-Air 185-12 has been proven to perform optimally even in the most extreme of climatic conditions – ranging from 45 °C (113 ºF) to a glacial –25 ºC (–13 ºF); and 4 500 m (14 764 ft) above sea level.

The unit is also designed to excel in densely populated urban areas where emissions and noise pollution are tightly restricted, thanks to it producing no local emissions and having low noise levels. The quiet nature of the compressor enables operators to work without noise distraction, enhancing both productivity and safety.

Building a Better Tomorrow

At Atlas Copco’s ‘Journey to a Sustainable Future’ event, senior business leaders from across the industry gathered to discuss how best to tackle the transformation to a climate-friendly, low-carbon future.

The new battery-powered unit marks a vital step in the electrification of Atlas Copco’s product offering and is one of many developments the company currently has in store to deliver sustainable solutions to its customers.

The unit came to life thanks to the long-term partnership, of more than 40 years, with Atlas Copco’s distributor in the Netherlands, Perslucht Wilda. During the event, it was also announced that Dutch infrastructure company Van Doorn purchased the first B-Air unit.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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