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Oil-free air used for the Great Bubble Barrier in Dutch waterway

When we think of bubble curtains, large offshore applications are usually the first thing that come to mind. However, the possibilities are not limited to the vastness of our oceans. The Great Bubble Barrier uses the same concept, but scales it down to local waterways, offering a smart solution to plastic pollution.

Plastic not so fantastic

Plastic waste is not something we only find on the other side of the world, or in the ocean. It is present in local waterways as well, where it brings great harm to the environment and human beings. Aquatic animals are tangled in plastic, microplastics pose a health risk from the smallest to the largest organisms and ships suffer damages. Different institutions worldwide, such as the United Nations, Ellen McArthur Foundation and the World Health Organization, recognize this increasing problem.

The Great Bubble Barrier has designed a solution that intercepts plastics in rivers and canals before it reaches the ocean.

For a large part, the way The Great Bubble Barrier uses the Bubble Barrier, is similar to what is used for offshore projects. However, there are a few differences. For example, the barrier is placed diagonally in the waterway, allowing it to use the natural current to guide the plastic to the catchment system at the riverside. Both ships and fishes can pass the Bubble Barrier, but plastic will be stopped. Besides the capture of debris, the Bubble Barrier has other positive side effects. Oxygen levels within the water increase by a Bubble Barrier, which stimulates the ecosystem and stops the growth of toxic blue algae.

Bubble it up

For the creation of the bubble curtain, Atlas Copco Rental installed an electric driven oil-free air compressor. The advantages of this energy-efficient solution are a fast start-up and low noise during operation.

The role of oil-free is vital for environmental reasons as the air is in direct contact with the water. There is no point in risking environmental oil pollution. Even the smallest quantities could have lasting, harmful effects on local marine life.

Atlas Copco Rental assists temporary hospital in Italy

Fiera Milano is home to some of the most prestigious exhibitions in the world. But, with all events canceled right now, the space is still being put to good use. A new hospital, designed specifically to treat patients with Covid-19 is being set up.

The “Fiera” Hospital was commissioned by the Lombardy Region (Italy) and is a full-fledged hospital.

When finished, the facility will have more than 400 intensive care units. Once operational, it is expected that 500 nurses and 200 medical professionals will be working and treating patients here, that will come from all over Italy.

The temporary hospital is a source of inspiration and hope, as well as determination.

The Italian government is also considering to replicate what was done here in Milan, and build more temporary intensive care facilities in the center and south of Italy. Regions which are also greatly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

For an indefinite period of time, our GA75 VSD+ FF will be a vital part of providing the hospital’s Medical Gas Supply. These systems typically include oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, etc.

Temporary solution for temporary site

We were able to surpass our customer’s expectations thanks to the high efficiency of our equipment.

The GA75 VSD+ FF is capable of providing a maximum flow of 956,88 m³/h at bar. It is equipped with a Variable Speed Drive+, a powerful motor and has a compact footprint.

The GA’s Variable Speed Drive+ (VSD+) technology closely matches the air demand by automatically adjusting the motor speed. Combined with the innovative design of the iPM (Permanent Magnet) motor, this results in substantial energy savings. Even when it is on-site only temporarily, you can still expect the most sustainable solution. Besides that, the GA series is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 1217 compliant.

Atlas Copco Rental Russia keeps air oil-free at sub-zero temperature

From extreme temperatures, both high and low, and the most remote locations, our equipment can be found all over the world. In this case, working conditions were pretty cold, to say the least. Gloves: check. Scarf: check. Winter coat x 2: check. Here we go!

Our client specializes in construction services in the oil and gas industry. When a section of pipeline needed repairs and partial replacement in Northern Russia, we provided Atlas Copco Rental equipment that was capable of working in sub-zero temperatures as well as meet all expectations. Working parameters ranged from 10 bar to a potential increase of up to 80 bar, so we came up with a unique solution that was up for the task, every step of the way.

  • 100% oil-free air PTS 916 compressor
  • CD41 dryer
  • Nitrogen generator
  • 4 high-pressure and diesel-driven XRVS compressors with different specifications

Before the pipeline can be used again, a mandatory integrity check has to be performed. In this case, it was possible to perform a hydrotest. Water is used to put the section of pipeline under extreme pressure, far higher than the operating pressure, and make sure it is compliant with all applicable rules and regulations. In order to perform the test, a constant supply of water is required. Nearby water supply was too limited and would have had too big of an environmental impact when these would have been used. So a secondary pipeline, of around 2 kilometers was then constructed to reach a small river. Because it was winter, you can imagine this came with its own challenges. After the hydrotest was successfully completed, the pipeline needed to be dried and cleared of any remaining air, debris. This is where our high-pressure compressors and boosters come in. Usually after dewatering a pipeline, some water remains in the pipes. Dry air goes under pressure into the pipes to absorb the remaining water in the pipeline. Then nitrogen purges the pipelines of all remaining air. These procedures are essential. Not only do they displace the oxygen, but they also delay oxidation and avoid explosions by not allowing air and natural gas to mix in dangerous concentrations. Nitrogen generators with different flows and purities are matched with compressors to reach the required nitrogen pressure and flow. Soon after passing all tests, the pipeline was up and running again!

Getting to the core: faster drilling and reduced fuel costs with Rand-Air’s new DrillAir compressors

In a first for Rand-Air, the company has acquired Atlas Copco DrillAir Y1260 variable high pressure (21 to 35 bar) compressors.

This new technology – from the world’s leading manufacturer of drilling equipment – has been scientifically designed around pressure and flow for a wide range of high-capacity drilling applications.

These two new units are ideally suited for applications such as mineral exploration drilling, geothermal drilling, construction and blast hole drilling; as well as for services such as aerated drilling and the drilling of wells.

“At Rand-Air, we constantly strive to exceed customer expectations. And therefore, for our drilling customers, choosing the right compressor to match hole depth and hammer size is critical to their success,” says Rand-Air Fleet Manager Craig Swart.

“With these two new compressors, our mining customers can choose the right compressor for their core business; and have the flexibility to adapt to changes in well depth and hammer size for any custom application,” Swart points out.

He adds that DrillAir compressors can achieve maximum air flow at any pressure, as the relationship between pressure and flow is optimised, thereby creating the ideal combination of these two variables to improve drilling efficiency through the most efficient use of compressed air – and ultimately, dramatically reducing fuel costs.

What sets the two new DrillAir compressors apart is their advanced PACE and DrillAir AirXpert technologies, which are simple to use and place drill operators firmly in control. PACE (Pressure-Assisted through Cognitive Electronics) is a dynamic optimisation feature, which allows the user to tap into the compressor’s electric engine to control pressure and flow.

Being able to match flow and pressure to their application requirements now eliminates the need to have two separate machines.

DrillAir AirXpert furthermore offers up to 30% improved drilling speeds. This performance management system includes software (Dynamic Flow Boost, Dynamic Control and XPR), as well as a LED hardware controller (Xc4003), electronically controlled inlet valve and a variable minimum pressure valve.

The Dynamic Flow Boost provides up to 4 m³ a minute additional flow when flashing and during drill stem refills. In addition, Dynamic Flow Boost gives 10% more flow at lower working pressure for large diameter drilling. The key benefits include quicker flushing, faster drill stem refill, and a shorter time to complete drilling.

“Atlas Copco’s XPR (Extended Pressure Range) extends the working pressure range whilst setting it as low as 21 bar. In addition, the FuelXpert system ensures fuel efficiency and partial load with an additional fuel filter for better engine protection,” he explains.

“The combination of DrillAir AirXpert technology, the Atlas Copco screw element and the Cummins Stage III engine provides high efficiency for a wide range of pressure and flow settings,” Swart adds.

With its 500-hour service intervals, Rand-Air’s new DrillAir compressors offer customers trouble-free service, quick and simple maintenance and low operational costs. The machines’ centralised drain and air filtration systems facilitate easy servicing; while the design of the new oil separator system reduces maintenance time by over an hour. A dedicated service door allows for convenient oil level observation and oil filling. A three-layer coating on the body of the machine offers an extended life of corrosion-free service, further contributing to lower operational costs.

“Our new DrillAir compressors have been chosen for their robustness, and the fact that they are therefore well-suited for use in remote and harsh environments, where support is sometimes hard to access,” concludes Swart.

Rand-Air temporary generator hire a ‘power of good’ for mining companies

Many South Africans have recently experienced the frustration of mains power outages. While for the private citizen, the lack of electricity for an extended period is an inconvenience, for companies such as mining operations the consequences are much more serious.

In renting generators to mines, there are two aspects to consider. First of all, there is the rental of ad hoc temporary power and secondly, and possibly more crucial, is the rental generators for mine plant shutdowns.

Mining companies, in particular, with the vast sums of capital often invested in them cannot afford production downtime. Rand-Air is able to respond to such crises with high-quality rental generators and the technical support to ensure an uninterrupted flow of power. The company’s range of generators runs from 20 kVA models right up to 1100 kVA units. All run at 50 Hz but can be adjusted to 60 Hz on request. The power supply can either be single-phase 220 V or three-phase 380 V.

“Importantly, our generators are supplied with all accessories needed for immediate operation,” explains Rand-Air Fleet Manager Craig Swart. This includes distribution boards, cables, joiner boxes, COC kits and transformers if necessary.

“If required, Rand-Air is able to advise its customers on the capacity of the generator they need,” he says.

What are particularly useful are the Change over Contactor (COC) kits. These are invaluable when a customer needs a generator to be on standby and start supplying electricity automatically should mains AC power fail. In order to use a COC kit, the generator needs to have an Automatic Mains Failure (AMF) feature.

Rand-Air generators are mounted on trailers (except for the TwinPower which is containerised) and, today, many have distribution boards mounted on the trailer as well, a factor which simplifies the use of the unit. Being trailer mounted, the generators can be taken right to the point where the power is actually needed.

Innovation has always been a hallmark of Atlas Copco. As an example, to this end, Rand-Air has purchased four Atlas Copco TwinPower generators, two 550 kVA generators being installed in each container.

This containerised generator solution gives a very compact footprint, unrivalled versatility, optimised performance and excellent fuel economy in demanding modular power plant (MPP) applications. In addition, the two modules inside the container can be synchronised so that it is possible to supply either 1100 kVA or 550 kVA – a versatile and portable cost- and fuel-saving option for the customer.

“Many of our mining customers prefer to have one self-contained unit on site, as opposed to two individual 550 kVA generators in sync,” explains Swart. The footprint of the container is smaller than two individual 550 kVA generators; and having the generators in containers protects them against extreme weather conditions.

From time to time, mines need to shut down their processing plant for an extended period of planned maintenance in order to avoid un-scheduled shutdowns. With these shutdowns, on occasion, mines use the services of hundreds of subcontractors, all of whom need temporary power. Every day a mine plant is out of operation, the financial losses are considerable, so all equipment on site has to be absolutely reliable and well supported. As Rand-Air sources its generation equipment from world leading manufacturer Atlas Copco, reliability is not an issue. Combined with Rand-Air’s superb service, this is a winning combination.

“Naturally, before any equipment item goes on to site it scrupulously checked by our technicians to ensure no costly breakdowns or downtime ensues,” Swart continues.

“For us at Rand-Air, mine shutdowns, while they are challenging, are also very exciting as they give us the opportunity to show what our company is capable of,” he explains.

“The achievement of finding 50,000 cfm of compressed air for a customer at short notice and getting it safely to site on time is a satisfying and rewarding experience both for ourselves and, ultimately, for our customers,” Swart concludes.

FRAUD ALERT - Suppliers, please verify details with us before opening an account and supplying goods in the name of Rand-Air