Steve Lindsey, CEO and Founder of Lontra.
Steve Lindsey, CEO and Founder of Lontra.

A consortium led by European technology developer Lontra has been awarded a £1.5 million grant to apply its Blade Compressor technology to increase the fuel efficiency of engines used for 1MW power generation – the most common size of generator used for applications ranging from data centres to manufacturing plants.

The project will apply Lontra’s Blade Compressor as a turbo compounding technology. The Energy Catalyst grant from by 'Innovate UK' provides full funding to take the technology from concept through to hardware and testing stages.

Rotary compressor

The Blade Compressor, is a compact double acting rotary compressor aimed at industries such as water treatment and industrial compressed air. It is best imagined as a piston and cylinder, but with the cylinder wrapped into a ring doughnut shape.

The design involves a constantly open intake port, without valves. As the piston rotates, air is drawn in behind it and compressed in front of it in an almost continuous cycle. Blade Compressor has a oil-free geometry providing internal compression with low leakage and low inlet and outlet flow losses.

 A low pressure (1Bar/15psi) Blade Compressor has already been proven in a demonstration with Severn Trent Water, where reductions in energy consumption of over 21% were observed. The technology is now licensed for production within the municipal and regulated waste water sector to Sulzer. The multi-million pound deal will see aeration equipment incorporating Lontra’s technology sold across 150 countries.