Small footprint

17 March 2008

Atlas Copco Portable Air has been spending a lot of money on research and development – something like €12 million (US$ 18 million) a year – and the most recent fruits of that investment were unveiled recently at the company's headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium.

On the generator side of its business the highlight was the use, for the first time on its gensets, of the non-metal Hard Hat canopy that was launched over a year ago on the Series 7 compressors.

The polyethalene canopy – made from recyclable LMDPE (linear medium density polyethalene) – will now be available on two ranges of QAX gensets, the QAX 12-20-30 (50 Hz) and the QAX 24-35 (60 Hz). The canopies have gone down well on construction sites and in rental fleets because they are corrosion free and retain their original appearance even after several years' usage. The canopies are also crack resistant, and will not be damaged even by high impacts.

The new Hard Hat enclosure features include standard Qc1002 remote start control panel, analogue meters, adjustable earth leakage protection with earth pin, emergency stop, and socket panel protection by dedicated circuit breakers on 50 Hz versions and a terminal board on 60 Hz versions.

The company is also extending the QAX range upwards with new 40 kVA and 60 kVA models (the previous largest was a 35 kVA model), although these will not feature the Hard Hat canopy as standard.

Atlas Copco has been engaged on a major effort to reduce the size of its compressors, and these efforts are now benefiting the generators as well, with both the QAX 40 and 60 models using the same compact build enclosures as the new XAS 137 compressor (see below).

Designed for rental fleets, construction applications and the public utility sector, the QAX 40-60 gensets are powered by a Deutz BF4M2011 turbocharged, oil cooled, 4–cylinder diesel engine.

It is for compressors that Atlas Copco Portable Air is best known, and here the company has been developing more compact designs, making them easier to move around on site and to transport – using a single-axle trailer.

The two new Series 1 models are the XAHS 107 and XAS 137, rated to provide an actual free air delivery of 93 l/s (197 cfm) at 12 bar (175 psi) and 127 l/s (269 cfm) at 7 bar (102 psi), respectively. Both models are ideal for running pneumatic breakers, general construction work, sandblasting and rental fleets.

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