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Atlas Copco unveils battery-driven portable screw air compressor

An air compressor on a dusty job site
An Atlas Copco B-Air 185-12 portable screw air compressor Atlas Copco

Atlas Copco has expanded its portable electric product portfolio to include a battery-driven portable screw air compressor, the B-Air 185-12. Atlas Copco says that this is the first battery portable screw compressor on the market.

"We are committed to accelerating the transition away from carbon dependency and towards renewable energy sources," explains Maarten Vermeiren, product marketing manager of sustainability and digitalization at Atlas Copco's Portable Air Division. "By introducing the first battery portable screw compressor, we want to play our part in enabling a sustainable transformation and help build a better tomorrow – for society and the planet alike."

An electric-powered portable screw compressor

The B-Air 185-12 features five to 12 bars of pressure, a stable flow rate of 5.4 to 3.7 cubic metres per minute, and a 55-kWh battery storage capacity. With power delivered from its onboard power pack, a fully charged unit is independent of the need for fuel or a local power source to plug into, and has the capability to perform for up to a full typical work shift. In turn, it provides both portability and productivity for those working on sites where regular access to electricity is not practical.

Making the switch from an internal combustion engine (ICE) to an electric motor means less downtime and maintenance requirements. Due to having far fewer moving (and therefore wearing) parts compared to a diesel-powered unit, the electric B-Air 185-12 only needs to be serviced every 2,000 hours, as opposed to 500 hours for a typical ICE powered unit. The machine's variable speed drive (VSD) and permanent magnet motor lower the total cost of ownership, automatically adjusting the motor speed to match air demand in real time and increasing energy efficiency by up to 70 percent.

Atlast Copco has tested the B-Air 185-12 and says that it has been proven to perform optimally even in extreme climates – ranging from +45 degrees Celcius (+113 degrees Fahrenheit) to -25 degrees Celcius (-13 degrees Fahrenheit); and 4,500 metres (14,764 feet) above sea level. The unit is also designed to excel in densely populated urban areas where emission and noise pollution are tightly restricted, thanks to it producing no local emissions and having low noise levels. The quiet nature of the compressor enables operators to work without noise distractions.

The B-Air 185-12 was first unveiled at an event in Antwerp, Belgium. The unit came to life thanks to the long-term partnership with Perslucht Wilda, Atlas Copco's distributor in The Netherlands for over 40 years. During the event, it was also announced that Dutch infrastructure company Van Doorn purchased the first B-Air unit.

"Atlas Copco is proud to be committed to our industry's fight against climate change by developing the first battery-driven screw compressor," says Bert Derom, president of  Atlas Copco Portable Air Division. "The B-Air 185-12 is a tangible symbol of our commitment to delivering real-world solutions to help our customers and their customers adopt a more sustainable way of working, and to turning the tide on climate change. We ultimately want to offer a sustainable alternative to every user and every application, and this new battery powered unit is a leap closer to that goal."

The B-Air 185-12 is scheduled to be produced in September 2023, using a compact and modular concept with multiple autonomy variants.

Company info

Sickla Industriväg 19
SE, SE-105 23 Stockholm


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