Use of turbo compressors with air bearings for sterile air generation increases service life, reduces operating costs, and assembly space

02. February 2021

The availability of sterile air is essential for many industries, such as the food and pharmaceutical industry, or bioprocessing. Today we use mobile or stationary sterile air generators in any application that requires air to be free of germs, pyrogens, endotoxins, and commonly bio burdens. These generators use a multi-stage filtration process to produce sterile air from contaminated ambient air.

A compressor or a ventilator transports air through a filter package into a sterile chamber and from there into the room to be ventilated in a single setup. The filtration materials used are often designed as pleated filter elements in exchangeable cartridges. To meet the highest requirements for air purity, qualities with a pore diameter of no more than 200 nm are used to ensure maximum bio-burden retention.

However, the advantage of the highest retention rate also suffers the disadvantage of the lowest air throughput when a differential pressure generated by the compressor is applied. The concentrations of germs, spores, fungi, and dust particles in the filtration material increase with operation, leading to a reduction in the airflow rate over time. Thus, significantly reducing the system’s service life.Larger compressors can remedy this issue.

However, the frequently used scroll or side-channel compressors quickly reach their limits due to the disproportionate increase in required assembly space and weight. Thus, the size of the entire system increases, making it more costly.Turbo compressors with gas bearings help meet the constant demand for extended service life, reduced system size, guaranteed contaminant removal, and reducing energy needs. Compared to conventional scroll or side-channel compressors, Celeroton’s turbo-compressor systems are up to 30 times smaller and lighter, offering a compact design and a significantly higher pressure ratio.

This feature significantly increases the service life of a filter.
Plus, the small assembly space and the low weight load to reduced system dimensions. Additionally, the turbo compressor is considerably more efficient than conventional compressors, which significantly reduces operating costs.

Below you will find a comparison of a stationary sterile air generator equipped with a side-channel compressor and one equipped with a Celeroton turbo compressor: 

 

 

  Standard
volume flow
(mN3/h) 
Pressure
differential
(mbar)
Power input
compressor
(kW)
Energy
efficiency
       %
Maximum
pressure
differential
(mbar)
Power input
compressor
at maximum pressure
differential
(kW)
Weight
(kg)
Side-channel
compressor
35 170 0.85 -- 170 0.85 ca. 20
Celeroton turbo compressor CT-17-1000.GB 35 170 0.3 65% 680 0.8 1.5

 

Altogether, the turbo compressor provides significantly higher pressure differentials and, depending on the operating point, sometimes considerably lower power-input requirements, combined with a markedly smaller overall volume at a fraction of the weight. The increased pressure differential permits a much smaller assembly and a longer service life of the filter system. Thus, expensive filter cartridges have to be changed less often.

Would you like to extend the service life of your sterile air generator and, at the same time, reduce weight, assembly space and operating costs? Then, get in touch with us today! You can contact us by e-mail at infocelerotoncom or by phone at +41 44 250 52 20.

< back

Tech-Blog

Vibration testing of the CT-2X air-bearing turbo compressor for mobile fuel cell applications

Turbo compressors have to cope with the vibration and lifetime requirements when used in mobile fuel cell applications, ...

> more

Gas bearing design for non-air applications

The design of gas bearings for noble or inert gases is an interesting engineer’s challenge, as the design has ...

> more