Atlas Copco helps client to secure interest-free loan

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Atlas Copco Compressors has helped a commercial laundry and dry cleaning services firm to secure a 0 per cent Carbon Trust business loan for replacing its industrial-scale compressor system - which will result in substantial energy savings.

Watford Launderers & Cleaners Ltd is a large-scale commercial laundering operation handling items such as tablecloths, bed sheets and other linen for restaurants and hotels in London and Watford. In its Watford plant, compressed air is employed for a variety of processes such as pneumatically operated washing machines and sheet folders.

Originally the site's compressed air demand was being met by an Atlas Copco GA55C screw compressor operating in tandem with another 55kW machine. In a bid to increase the operating efficiency of the plant, an energy audit was carried out by an Atlas Copco sales engineer using the company's iiTrak datalogger and configuration procedure. In the resulting energy report, the recommendation was made for the second, single-speed machine to be replaced by an Atlas Copco GA37VSD compressor with the capacity to match motor speed and air output to fluctuating demand.

It was calculated that the 50 per cent energy savings derived from the new installation would enable the compressor system to a achieve a payback in less than two years. It was therefore simple to prove the case that the investment in new compressor equipment would not only save significant amounts of energy for Watford Launderers, but also reduce the carbon footprint and overall operating costs for the site.

Interest-free loans

The UK's Carbon Trust operates a scheme whereby 0 per cent interest business loans of £3000 to £100,000 are available to help organisations finance and invest in energy-saving projects. To qualify for one of these loans, the applicant must be able to prove that the new investment will save energy.

Watford Launderers backed up its application for an interest-free loan from the Carbon Trust with the quotations and energy reports that Atlas Copco had submitted during the site evaluations. As a result, the company was successful in securing an interest-free loan from the Carbon Trust and installed the new GA37VSD compressor and its ancillary equipment. Air demand for the site is now met by running the single Atlas Copco GA37VSD with the GA55C machine as 100 per cent stand-by source.

Steve Haddow, Watford Laundry's Engineering Manager, states: "The setup is running very well on the site and is already saving the company energy and money by matching the air delivered to the actual demand of the site."

On a typical maximum throughput operation for the laundry plant, the new Atlas Copco GA37VSD runs at 60 per cent of the full load, thereby saving around 25kW of energy consumed compared to operating the old fixed-speed machine for the same demand.

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