Gardner Denver’s Ultima compressor still leads the way in oil-free technology

Gardner Denver’s CompAir extends oil-free Ultima compressor range with new air-cooled model offering process heat recovery

Gardner Denver has released a new air-cooled version of its ground-breaking Ultima technology, which continues to set a benchmark in the market by being the first ever air-cooled oil-free compressor to offer heat recovery for process water.

With the air-cooled model capable of recovering up to 98 per cent of heat generated during compression, cost savings of approximately £70,000 are possible  when compared with the nearest rival models. The technology’s patented closed package cooling system means the energy captured when compressing air can be used to provide process water heating, delivering usable water temperatures of up to 85°C.

Its hybrid cooling capabilities offer extra flexibility for the user too. Operators can choose between either air-cooling, water-cooling or both, depending on the most economic means of cooling at the time. For example, air-cooling might be more cost-effective to use during the winter period, as the heated cooling air can then be re-purposed for space heating in a facility. On the other hand, during summer months, when there is no demand for space heating, a water-cooled operating mode might be more economic.

Delivering best-in-class performance, the air-cooled Ultima compressor offers cost savings of up to 13 per cent when compared with industry standards, even without the additional application of heat recovery. Thanks to the speed-regulated fans, the power consumption in standard ambient conditions or at partial load is reduced even further.



Its highly-engineered oil-free airends, designed and manufactured at Gardner Denver’s Centre of Excellence in Simmern, Germany, feature a special coating to help protect the machinery and avoid performance degradation throughout its lifetime.

Ultima is also the quietest compressor in its class, with noise levels not exceeding 70 dB(A) for the air-cooled model. For those deciding to operate the compressor at the point of use, this low noise level is yet another benefit.

Ultima also requires up to 37 per cent less floor space than a conventional two-stage oil-free compressor, enabling an easy installation in the smallest possible space. Its highly-efficient internal cooling also means adjacent compressors can be sited close to one another, further optimising the available space.

Ultima is available with a pressure range from 4 to 10 bar, volume flow from 6.7 to 23.9 m3/min at 8 bar, and motor power from 75 to 160 kW. The technology is equipped with iConn, Gardner Denver’s digital analytics platform, too, helping operators to measure, optimise and improve compressed air usage.

The design of the Ultima compressor is truly innovative. Featuring two highly-efficient, permanent magnetic motors that replace the traditional gearbox set-up, these variable-speed motors can achieve speeds of up to 22,000 RPM and efficiencies greater than IE4.

Traditional models rely on a gearbox, which creates friction and results in efficiency losses, while also requiring high volumes of oil to lubricate the gears. In contrast, Ultima’s motors directly drive the airend without the need for a gearbox, continuously monitoring and adjusting the speed of each airend. This ensures maximum efficiency and pressure ratios at all times.

Dr. David Bruchof, Product Manager for Industrial Compressors at Gardner Denver, explains: “For sites where air quality cannot be compromised, such as applications in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, electronic and automotive sectors Ultima offers an ideal solution. Delivering the highest possible air quality standards, the new version of Ultima is also the only oil-free, air-cooled compressor available in the market that can offer process heat recovery. This is a real game-changer for many applications.

“Another key benefit to Ultima is that it is offered as standard from 75kW to 160kW, with each unit fully upgradeable between this range. This means that should a site’s energy demands increase over time, customers can upgrade their existing Ultima to the required capacity. Therefore, there is no need to purchase an expensive new compressor, thereby also eliminating the associated downtime, delivery wait, installation costs and additional space requirements.”

The Ultima compressors are completely oil- and silicone-free, and meet ISO 8573-1 Class Zero. The machine is also supported by Gardner Denver’s six-year PureCare warranty, which is completely free of charge, delivering assured peace of mind to operators.