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(VIDEO) Testing Atlas Copco's battery-driven screw air compressor

An Atlas Copco B-Air 185-12 battery powered portable air compressor Atlas Copco

Van Doorn got its hands on a prototype of Atlas Copco's new battery-powered portable air compressor at the beginning of 2023, ahead of the unit's official unveiling. Van Doorn utilized the B-Air 182-12 to support the installation of a highway crash barrier and repair works.

"I have to be honest, we were a bit skeptical initially, based on the fact that it is solely battery-driven. ‘How long can it really last?' we thought," confesses Addy van Doorn, founder of Van Doorn. "But I'm happy to say that we've been thoroughly impressed by its performance. It operates efficiently all day, meaning we're not only maintaining our productivity but also gaining some extra advantages by opting for a low-carbon alternative."

Van Doorn's expertise includes constructing and maintaining infrastructure, as well as traffic works and landscaping. Many of these projects take place on remote sites where regular access to grid electricity is not available. The B-Air's onboard power pack means the site team has benefitted from the autonomy that the unit offers while still enabling them to work a full shift. With power delivered from its onboard battery storage, in operation a fully charged B-Air is independent of the need for fuel or a local power source to plug into, eliminating localized emissions and bringing portability to Van Doorn's projects.

"There are no local emissions, and it's also surprisingly quiet with only 61 dB at 7 meters," continues Addy.

After the trial, Van Doorn purchased the first-ever B-Air on the day of its market launch and then shortly after invested in yet another B-Air unit.

The B-Air was the result of a collaboration between Atlas Copco and its Netherlands-based partner and dealer, Perslucht Wilda.

"Our customers had come directly to us requesting a battery-driven compressor," explains Remko van Piggelen, owner of Perslucht Wilda. "The largest part of our customer base works in infrastructure and aren't located on construction sites, meaning a standard electric unit with a power cord just isn't suitable for them."

Responding to the demands for a low-carbon and fully mobile electric compressor, Perslucht Wilda contacted Atlas Copco to develop a solution. The final prototype was offered to a handful of Perslucht Wilda's contractors – including Van Doorn – for trial.

"There is already a major push for battery-powered solutions – on a governmental and societal level, but also from companies," shares Maarten Vermeiren, product marketing manager of sustainability and digitalization in Atlas Copco's Portable Air Division. "For Atlas Copco and our partner Van Doorn, developing the B-Air was an obvious step in a more sustainable direction."

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