Shipbuilders Cammell Laird Construction has installed Atlas Copco marine-duty compressors aboard one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world, RRS Sir David Attenborough.
The new polar ship, commissioned by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), built by Cammell Laird and operated by British Antarctic Survey is a research platform that will transform how shipborne science is conducted in the Polar Regions. Its commissioning is part of a significant government polar infrastructure investment programme designed to keep Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic. This £200m commitment represents the UK Government’s most substantial investment in polar science since the 1980s.
As an integral part of shipboard operations in the engine room or deck site environments, the marine compressors needed to be specifically designed for the harsh conditions such as the RRS Sir David Attenborough will experience while operating in mid-ocean or sea ice, days or weeks away from temperate landfall and servicing facilities.
Within the practical constraints of minimum power consumption and restricted installation space, Cammell Laird had to ensure that the performance and build quality of the compressed air system could meet its criteria for reliability, energy efficiency, stability, safety, and regulatory compliance.
In addition to the overall requirement for a reliable and robust supply of compressed air for the many routine general air applications on the vessel, it was equally essential that high quality, clean dry air was available as instrument air for the vital bridge instruments. This was to ensure their accurate performance in monitoring and in driving engine control systems. Equally vital, there was a further demand for precision in the supply of high-quality air for the onboard scientific experiments and measurement operations that would be carried out.
This full spectrum of compressed air duties was met from Atlas Copco’s MAS range of marine compressors, technically advanced solutions that are fully optimised for shipborne use. The MAS family of 5-90 kW oil-injected screw marine compressors, derived from its premium GA range of stationary industrial units, sets the standard in marine compressed air production, combining low cost of ownership with reliable, energy-efficient performance.