Know the drill with Atlas Copco’s high pressure DrillAir compressors

Atlas Copco DrillAir V900_this mobile compressor range achieves maximum air flow at any pressure setting

Atlas Copco’s high pressure DrillAir compressor range offers the perfect drilling solution to meet drill operators’ objective of drilling the maximum number of meters per day at the minimum cost per meter is the objective of in a bid to ensure business sustainability.

“These highly efficient 30-35 bar machines enable operators to drill more meters in an hour with a lower overall cost per meter,” affirms David Stanford, Atlas Copco Power Technique Business Line Manager- Portable Products. He adds that the Atlas Copco DrillAir Y35 can drill 500 meters per day, which translates to completing two 4.5” geothermal wells in a single drilling day! “Now that is productivity at its best.”

DrillAir compressors’ scientific design focuses on the relationship between pressure and flow, creating the ideal combination of these two variables to achieve the most effective utilisation of air or, in other words, to achieve maximum air flow at any pressure setting. These rugged and flexible machines subsequently offer a superior quality compressed air solution for a wide range of high capacity drilling applications. A primary objective is to improve the efficiency aspect of the time spent and fuel utilised while increasing drilling performance. “This perfect harmony between pressure and flow puts end-users in full control of these parameters, while saving fuel,” notes Stanford.

Choosing the right compressor to match hole depth and hammer size are fundamental to drilling efficiency; this is exactly what the DrillAir range offers. End-users can have the best of both by choosing the right compressor for their core business with the added flexibility of being able to adapt to changes in well depth and hammer size for any custom application.

All large DrillAir compressors (V900, XATS 1200 and XAVS 1000) incorporate Atlas Copco’s advanced PACE (Pressure Adjusted through Cognitive Electronics) and DrillAirXpert technologies. The intuitive PACE technology (a simple software package), is a dynamic optimisation feature that allows the end-user to tap into the electric engine to control pressure and flow. This pioneering technology enables multiple pressure and flow settings, ensuring that operators match air flow and pressure to their application needs. The capability of having multiple pressures out of a single machine eliminates the need for multiple machines offering a significant saving in capital purchase. “Our compressors’ Tier 2 and 3 electric engines are ideally suited to PACE presenting, the perfect combination between engine and technology,” adds Stanford.

DrillAirXpert 2.0 enables operators to run their DrillAir at various flow and pressure settings with up to 30% improved drilling speeds. This performance management system includes software (Dynamic Flow Boost, Dynamic Control and XPR) as well as hardware (Xc4003 controller, electronically controlled inlet valve and a variable minimum pressure valve). The Dynamic Flow Boost provides up to 4 m3/min additional flow when flushing and during drill stem refill and is capable of achieving 10% more flow at lower working pressure for larger diameter drilling. Key benefits include quicker flushing, faster stem refill and a shorter time to complete drilling, providing customers and end-users enhanced control on site and boosting productivity. Based on patented technology, Atlas Copco XPR (Extended Pressure Range) extends the working pressure range whilst setting it as low as 15 bar.

Stanford points out that the combination of DrillAirXpert technology with the Atlas Copco screw element and the Cummins Stage III engine, provides high efficiency for a wide range of pressure and flow settings. The FuelXpert system ensures efficiency at partial load with an additional fuel filter for better engine protection.

A 500-hour service interval means that the DrillAir range is all about hassle-free service, quick maintenance and low operational costs. The machines’ centralised drain and air filtration systems facilitate servicing while the smart design of the oil separator system reduces maintenance time by over an hour. A dedicated service door allows for convenient oil level observation and oil filling. The three-layered protective coating (zincor, primer and powder) covering all bodywork offers over a decade of corrosion-free service, further contributing to low operational costs.

Boasting a compact footprint, owing to a short 4.1 meter frame, these machines can be easily transported on a single truck between drilling sites.  This saves on transport costs and gets the unit to site faster, maximising productivity.

The complete DrillAir range, comprising the XATS 1200, XAVS 1000, V900, X1300, V1200 and Y1300, are ideal for a wide range of applications including geothermal drilling and construction, blast hole drilling and exploration (mining) and pipeline, well services as well as aerated drilling (oil & gas).

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