According to Lontra, its blade compressor can save up to 35 per cent of the energy normally required by compressors without using costly variable speed drives. The design can vary the inlet and exhaust ports to change the compressor load, without changing the shaft or motor speed.
Based on predicted performance, this compressor could deliver CO2 savings of 4,000 tonnes a year if it captured just one hundredth of the existing compressor market. Now building and testing prototypes, Lontra has started to approach equipment manufacturers and commercial partners.
The Carbon Trust’s Garry Staunton said: ‘Most manufacturers depend on compressed air as a source of energy – it’s often referred to as the ‘fourth utility’ after gas, electricity and water. However, we know that 30 per cent of the energy used to compress air is lost through leaks, making innovations like Lontra’s compressor vital if UK’s industry is to become more energy efficient.’
The applied research grant scheme is a flagship initiative run by the Carbon Trust to encourage further new business development of low carbon technologies.