Efficient solutions for air compression and expansion

Achieve a reduction in oil with innovative degassing of lubrication systems. HYDAC – your partner for efficient solutions.

Air compression and expansion help with fluctuations in renewable energyInnovative degassing of a lubrication system enables a 75% reduction in the amount of oil used

Throughout the global economy, avoiding waste when using energy and resources is more important than ever. In the industrial context, this calls for operating fluids to be conserved and their service lives to be lengthened with better conditioning, among other things. In lubricating oil systems, for example, particles, ingressed heat and entrained air need to be removed from the oil before it can be returned to the system. The aim is to reduce the amount of air in the oil quickly and efficiently. At HYDAC, we have developed a special strainer series for this purpose. With their special degassing concept for oils < 50 cSt, the dwell time of the oil in the application can be reduced from the usual six to eight minutes to two minutes. As a consequence, it's not only the tank size and weight that are drastically reduced – the fluid savings reduce the environmental impact and lower costs. 

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Efficient solutions for grid-scale batteries

A leading manufacturer of expansion turbines and turbo compressors contacted us with a specific problem relating to this topic: the company had been commissioned by a start-up to build the prototype for a grid-scale battery. When sustainable electrical energy is available, a compressor is powered that heats and compresses air. This air is stored. When electrical energy is needed, this air powers an expansion turbine with a generator.
It was important for the start-up to be provided with an especially sustainable solution. This also applied to the integrated lubrication system. The oil operating fluid therefore had to be reduced to the absolute minimum. Furthermore, the lubrication system would ideally be as inexpensive as possible and also serve as a standardisable solution. For our customer, this commission was an opportunity to stand out from other providers in this field with especially sustainable technology.  

HYDAC – Your problem solver with application knowledge Decades of experience in perfectly tailored solutions

On the basis of the OEM partnership context, approaches for the sustainable use of resources that had already been established on the market were suggested to the customer. This included filters with low pressure drops that avoid electrostatic discharge thanks to their special material, preventing premature oil deterioration. Oil-air cooling systems with variable-speed drives were utilised. The rotational speed and therefore the cooling capacity are determined by the oil temperature, saving energy directly. In addition, an innovative HYDAC tank concept was presented. The innovation was met with great interest on the part of our customer. When the customer was commissioned with the assignment in question a few months later, the responsible project engineer contacted HYDAC.
In addition to decades of experience in lubrication systems, our HYDAC industry experts have sound detailed knowledge of fluid conditioning as performed by the HYDAC Fluid Care Center (FCC). We are especially delighted to be able to use this expertise in future-focused projects such as this one. The HYDAC problem-solving strategy: we listen to you and incorporate the practical know-how that we have accumulated. In this case, the tank project was planned with our Air-X strainer technology and extensive simulations of flow and air bubble separation were carried out. The tank was designed to allow HYDAC to take measurements of the air content in the oil during operation. Following delivery, HYDAC joined the lubrication system with the compressor in the customer’s test area and performed extensive experiments on the combination in operation.

The result

At first, the customer was sceptical as to whether a system that had been reduced to such an extent would be able to satisfy their requirements and preferences. Both our customer and the end customer were highly satisfied with the result, however. During the first commissioning, 2,400 litres of oil were able to be saved compared with conventional lubrication systems. The structural solution made it possible to use half a tonne less steel than ordinary systems. These two factors alone made the initial investment not only significantly “leaner” but no less than 14% cheaper. The environmental footprint of this lubrication solution is also impressive: just as with the initial commissioning, each oil change requires 2,400 litres less oil. This corresponds to a CO2 saving of 12.5 tonnes per oil change. Thanks to the innovative principle of faster degassing of the lubrication system, the oil service life is also lengthened, saving resources. 
It should be possible to make the successful strainer system available to other customers within the industry. 

Before and after comparisonThe resulting cost savings with the initial investment and the subsequent oil change intervals as well as the improved carbon footprint*

Your advantages at a glance

Conservation of resources

Conservation of resources

Thanks to a significantly reduced oil volume and longer service lives, you can save on resources.<br/>  

CO2 footprint

CO2 Reduction

During the first commissioning, approximately 13.4 tonnes of CO2 were able to be saved. Furthermore, with each oil change, the CO2 consumption was reduced by an additional 12.5 tonnes.

Reduced installation space

Optimised material use and dimensions

With this considerably “leaner” solution requiring 2 m³ less space, it was possible to save 0.9 tonnes of steel.

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* Fehrenbach, Horst et al. (2019): Implementierung von Nachhaltigkeitskriterien für die stoffliche Nutzung von Biomasse im Rahmen des Blauen Engel. Teil 3: PROSA - Biobasierte Schmierstoffe und Hydraulikflüssigkeiten. [Implementing sustainability criteria for the material use of biomass in connection with the Blue Angel. Part 3: PROSA – bio-based lubricants and hydraulic operating fluids.] Dessau-Roßlau: Umweltbundesamt (German Federal Environmental Agency), p. 45.
Online at: www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/implementierung-von-nachhaltigkeitskriterien-fuer-1
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