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Compressed air has become an intrinsic part of industrial manufacturing, but it is also one of the most expensive energy carriers of our time. In fact, only about ten percent of the energy consumed can be converted into compressed air – plenty of incentive for Lower Saxony’s “Energy Workshop” efficiency experts to tackle this challenge. And with some considerable success, as visitors to HANNOVER MESSE 2016 can see for themselves. The Energy Workshop is showcasing the HERON high-efficiency heat compressor (HWV) – a compact compressed-air producing machine that uses the principle of co-generation to provide an innovative and ecological solution for reducing the costs of compressed air production by up to 60 percent.

A gas-driven combustion engine lies behind this economic and eco-friendly means of producing compressed air. It’s the use of the heat that’s given off during the process of compressing air that makes the system so highly efficient. The new HWV is best suited for any scenario where both compressed air and heat need to be generated cost-effectively in multi-shift operation. For instance in electroplating, where heat is required for the electrolyte bath and compressed air for processing the metal. Or for processing plastics, where heat is needed for warming the injection molds and the high amounts of compressed air required can account for up to 10 per cent of the company’s electricity costs. In the food industry, too, washing and rinsing valves and vessels (e.g. bottles and milking machinery) requires heat alongside compressed air for the handling and manipulation equipment.

Energiewerkstatt Gesellschaft für rationelle Energie mbH & Co. KG (30453 Hannover, Germany), Hall 27, Stand J50, (J50/4), Topic: Decentralized Energy Supply pavilion