Atlas Copco wins P&A Best Product 2008 Award for energy-efficient GA compressors
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Atlas Copco wins P&A Best Product 2008 Award for energy-efficient GA compressors

Atlas Copco has finished first among “Pumps and Compressors” in the yearly Best Product competition organized by Germany’s P&A magazine. A panel of 6000 readers, chiefly German production and process engineers, voted Atlas Copco’s most energy-efficient oil-injected compressors, the new GA 90-160 kW range, to be their favorite. With a compressor package offering a Specific Energy Requirement (SER) as low as 350 Joule/liter, the GA features extremely energy efficient consumption.
This year's list of winners was announced on 7 January 2009. The first round of the competition included five new compressors introduced by three other manufacturers. Over 225 new products resulted from a first selection stage, leading to shortlists of 15-20 of the most consulted online new product articles in each of the 10 categories.
A wide range of industries use oil-injected compressors: coal-fired power plants, mining, shipping and ship-building, as well as cement, glass and tire manufacturing companies. Patrick Fradin, Head of Energy at Michelin’s Avallon site in France, explains: “It is my objective to reduce energy costs per tonne of production. Together with Atlas Copco we have calculated that by replacing our four working compressors with two new GA 132 VSDs, we can save 736 400 kWh yearly. I was surprised when I saw the potential savings on the consumption. I also think that there will be a lot less maintenance to do,” adds Fradin. The factory is a leading industrial retreader of tires for trucks and earthmoving equipment and shipped products for 300 000 vehicles in 2007.
For manufacturers, a "Best Product Award," is one of European industry's highest honors. For industry, it's a reliable way of knowing the best new products on the market today. "When companies see a product with the Best Product Award Winner's seal they know it's been vetted by a multitude of professionals," notes Reimund Scherff, Business Line Manager for Atlas Copco Oil-free Air in Germany. "These are the technical breakthroughs industry is talking about -- and the ones we all want to own."
Scherff continues: “The award confirms our effort to develop technically excellent, innovative products that allow process industry users, for instance, to manufacture with greater productivity and energy efficiency.”
The Specific Energy Requirement (SER) of the new Atlas Copco GA range (3.5 to 14 bar(e)) is world class, using up to 11% less electricity than the previous GA models. There is a GA compressor package with an integrated water separator at optimum Specific Energy Requirement (SER) of 350 Joule/liter according to ISO 1217 edition 3 annex C (1996).
According to a 2001 study financed by the European Commission, “Compressed air plays a very large part in the industrial energy consumption since it counts for approx. 12% of the current consumption... Motor driven systems account for approximately 50% of the electricity consumed in Europe.” The authors claim that “even a small efficiency improvement can lead to relevant energy savings.” 
The new GA 160 VSD offers an exceptional free air delivery (FAD) turndown range from 100% to 17%. This oil-injected compressor range has pioneered by integrating the water separator into the compressed air cooling system. The new GA is Atlas Copco’s first air compressor to offer VSD-controlled cooling fans, reducing overall consumption. Saver Cycle Control technology results in optimised energy use by the dryer. The GA is able to operate in ambient temperatures of up to 55 degrees centigrade, at a maximum noise level of 71 dBA. Oil filter and the air inlet filter lifetimes have been doubled, directly impacting operating costs and compressor runtime. 
The GA series of compressors and their redesigned screw element (responsible for a reduction of 5 to 6% in energy requirements), as well as the newly launched, highly energy-efficient FD 310-510 refrigerant air dryer range, have been featured in a world-wide road show. The new GA has received positive reviews from industry since its launch in April 2008; it is shortlisted as a finalist on the US Plant Engineering’s “Product of the Year” Award 2008 list. 
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