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Media / Application stories / Atlas Copco oil-free screw blowers increase sewage treatment plant’s energy efficiency by 10%

Atlas Copco oil-free screw blowers increase sewage treatment plant’s energy efficiency by 10%


Wilrijk, Belgium, August 2014. Two Atlas Copco ZS 55+ oil-free screw blowers with variable speed drive (VSD) supply energy-efficient compressed air to process sewage at the treatment plant in Versmold, Germany. As a result of the efficiency of the VSD, the plant has achieved energy savings of 10%, which means lower sewage fees for customers.

The plant cleans around 3 000000 m3 of sewage water every year. Sixty percent of this is industrial sewage water and the remainder is domestic sewage from the town of Versmold.Specific to the plant is the high proportion of industrial customers from the meat processing industry, which generates varying rates of high polluting loads and above-average quantities of phosphate that are a challenge for the plant to handle. The cleaning technology, the measuring technology, the process control system, and the compressed air technology must be able to quickly detect the pollution level of the sewage water and respond accordingly.   Nitrification and denitrification take place simultaneously in two aeration tanks. In the course of the aerobic degradation processes, the biological process is first supplied with oxygen via the plate aerators. During the subsequent anaerobic phase, only the tank contents are mixed together. Each of the tanks is supplied with oxygen via the three blowers.

Test run confirms energy efficiency
The control function is taken over in each case by an Atlas Copco ZS 55+ VSD oil-free screw blower with variable  speed drive (VSD). The two machines,  working together with two blowers supplied by another manufacturer, supply compressed air between 1500 and 3500 m³/h with a target excess pressure of 500 mbar to maximum 600 mbar. The volume flow is automatically adjusted to the exact air demand by the variable speed drive.  "The blowers from Atlas Copco are compact and it is not necessary to make many modifications," compliments plant manager Khosrow Ghobadi. "The machine is simply linked to the process control system, which we did easily without any problems."   Initially, however, only one of the two tanks was equipped with a ZS+ blower, "as we just wanted to check whether the promised increase in efficiency could be achieved,"

Ghobadi says with a grin. "At the end of the test run, we were actually able to determine that the blower from Atlas Copco was 10% more efficient than our other machines."   In light of this, the second screw blower from Atlas Copco was purchased. "The two machines have run smoothly for the past two years," Ghobadi happily concludes. "The only thing that we need to do is routine maintenance work." 

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics.  The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2013, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 84 (EUR 9.7 billion) and more than 40000 employees.

Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique business area provides industrial compressors, vacuum solutions, gas and process compressors and expanders, air and gas treatment equipment and air management systems. The business area has a global service network and innovates for sustainable productivity in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and process industries. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Belgium, Germany, the United States, China and India.