Editor's Choice

Magnetic bearings for sustainable compressed air production

February 2023 Editor's Choice Motion Control & Drives

SKF’s magnetic bearings, which can rotate at up to 50 000 rpm are now playing a key role in reducing CO2 emissions across a range of industrial applications, including compressors. The company’s magnetic bearing technology has been selected by Finnish cleantech company Tamturbo for their high-speed turbo motors used in industrial air compressors

Compressed air is used in many industrial plants to power machines, tools and automation, and to move materials through the production process.

The delivery of compressed air historically makes use of oil-based screw compressors, which have high maintenance costs and associated CO2 emissions resulting both from the oil they consume, and energy waste in the form of extra heat loss. By using high speed, direct drive centrifugal compressors with permanent magnet motors and active magnetic bearings as a core technology, industrial customers can generate compressed air with lower emissions, longer service intervals and a lower total cost of ownership compared to oil-based screw compressors.

Igor Nagaev, president and CEO of Tamturbo, says: “SKF’s magnetic bearings help solve a number of critical dilemmas in our applications, enabling high rotational speeds, with outstanding reliability and improved efficiency. This contributes to helping Tamturbo offer customers compressors with a lower total cost of ownership and reduced CO2 emissions.”


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