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A Turboscrew compressor from Compair has been used to assist The Alfred Wegener Institute with seismic exploration in the Antarctic.

Capable of operating at temperatures as low as -30C, the C250TS-12 compressor uses up to 26 per cent less diesel than conventional mobile compressors and has allowed the research team to achieve reduced operating costs and extend refuelling intervals.

By studying the structure and motion of ice in the Antarctic, scientists can work out how it formed and developed.

The same applies to sediments below the ice.

Here, controlled explosions are used to create seismic waves, which are then analysed at surface level to create a graphic picture of the ice and its structure.

The C250TS-12 Compair compressor, supplied by Compair distributor, Peter Gay Baumaschinen in Bremen, Germany, provides the compressed air needed to power a drill, which bores holes up to 20m deep in the ice to lay the charges needed to carry out these explosions.

‘We need a borehole in order to transmit the energy as efficiently as possible into the ice,’ said Dr Olaf Eisen, from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany.

‘At polar latitudes, the top 50 to 100m of the ice sheets can consist of porous firn,’ he added.

The C250TS-12 compressor is part of Compair’s Turboscrew range, which offers numerous features to help improve reliability and deliver fuel cost savings.

Compared to conventional portable compressors, the units can deliver up to 26 per cent better fuel efficiency with no loss in pressure, according to Compair.

Using the company’s bi-turbo technology, the Turboscrew compressors feature a lightweight and compact Cummins engine.

This is engineered with two turbochargers powering a Compair screw compressor unit, with the addition of an engine exhaust gas turbine to pre-compress the inlet air before it enters the compression chamber.

This enables Compair to convert five per cent of what would normally be wasted exhaust energy and convert it to motive power to create compressed air.

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