Lindsey poses with the compressor

Lindsey poses with the compressor

Lontra technology gets boost

The Blade Compressor delivers significant efficiency gains and has the potential for use across several industries

May 2014

Lontra, a fast growing Midlands, UK, firm, has secured the first global licence for its trademarked Blade Compressor technology. The deal signed with Sulzer, a global leader in pumping equipment with 21 manufacturing facilities worldwide, will see aeration equipment incorporating the British technology sold across 150 countries.

The Blade Compressor was awarded Most Innovative New Product at the 2013 Water Industry Achievement Awards and described as a “step change in air compressor technology”. The novel design means the compact double acting rotary compressor is simple to manufacture. It has been proven in commercial operation with Severn Trent Water to deliver energy savings of 20 per cent that no current compressor technology can match.

The licensing deal provides Sulzer with global rights to incorporate the Blade Compressor design into aeration equipment for the treatment of wastewater. Sulzer offers a wide range of aeration systems for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. The deal does not restrict the ability of Lontra to licence the Blade Compressor across related applications such as industrial compressed air.

Steve Lindsey, CEO and founder of Lontra, commented that the deal with Sulzer is significant, but that  it’s the first of many potential applications of Lontra’s intellectual property. “We’re challenging the industry to think differently about compressor technology to deliver a better performance and significant energy savings across a wide range of industries,” he said.

Scot Smith, division president of Sulzer Pumps Equipment, remarked: “Incorporating Lontra’s technology into our product portfolio will provide our customers with the high-tech solutions they need to significantly reduce their energy and operations costs for this type of equipment. The advantage of the Blade Compressor is that it is the geometry of the design rather than advanced materials that deliver the superior performance. We therefore expect maximum reliability and minimal life cycle cost.”

Water treatment is an energy-intensive activity; accounting for 1 per cent of the UK’s energy usage. Energy typically represents 28 per cent of the operating costs of water industry operations, with aeration accounting for 55 per cent of this. A pilot installation of the Blade Compressor carried out in partnership with Severn Trent Water saw a 3 per cent reduction in the firm’s total carbon emissions after a year’s operation of a single compressor at its Worcester Sewage Treatment Works.

The Blade Compressor is an innovative design which delivers significant efficiency gains over competing technologies. Its unique geometry gives internal compression with very low leakage and low inlet and outlet flow losses. The low leakage allows a wide range of efficient operation and allows the compressor to be directly coupled to a standard industrial motor rather than requiring a gearbox or belt drive. It is oil-free and is made from standard, proven materials, the benefits coming from the geometry rather than novel materials or expensive machining.

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