Hydrovane’s Unique Solution for Wrightbus

Wrightbus Limited of Ballymena, Northern Ireland, manufacturers of New Bus for London (NBfL) chose Hydrovane as the sole supplier of 600 compressors for NBfL.

Hydrovane custom designed the unique solution for providing power to the pneumatic systems that are on the 600-unit fleet of vehicles which are hybrid powered. Hybrid buses are the wave of the future in the capital city of London.

The customised compressor package was built and produced at the Hydrovane facility in Redditch, to provide very lightweight and quiet performance, in a compact unit capable of being integrated easily into the new bus design.

The NBfL uses cutting edge green diesel-electric hybrid technology. The batteries that power the Hydrovane compressor on board each bus is in turn powered by a turbodiesel generator.

The compressors operate the braking, doors, and kneel down systems for this innovative generation of London buses.

The 600 bespoke, standalone Hydrovane compressors have outstanding benefits, including being lightweight, compact, quiet, free of vibrations, and energy saving. They are also a reliable source of air.

The operation of these compressors is matched to respond to the varying demands for air. Compressor speed is controlled and maintained through inverter drive technology in a manner that allows the vehicle system’s demand for compressed air to be met precisely as needed, when needed.

This is a challenging task, meeting the air requirements, because the bus design involves three separate doors alongside all the air systems. There is a high demand for air. As noted, the compressor unit provides pneumatic power for the brakes, the door mechanisms and the way the bus lowers the access platform to kerb level. This kneel down capability is a legal requisite so that the bus provides easy access to every passenger.

Because additional weight has a great impact on fuel consumption, Hydrovane’s bespoke compressor design for the New Bus for London had to be as lightweight as possible. By using an integrated dryer and AC electric motor with inverter technology, the unique compressor weighs 50% less than a conventional DC unit. The AC electric motor has the benefit of not needing maintenance as a DC unit would need. The AC motor also involves a lower outlay of initial capital.

Wrightbus built the bus to hold the maximum number of passengers, focusing on implementing the best space-saving techniques possible. Part of this implementation requires finding compact solutions for ancillary equipment. Hydrovane’s solution is sufficiently compact to allow installation beneath the front stairwell.

The compressor is a single module comprised of an integrated, air on demand twin-tower dryer with a compact motor and drive. It is water-cooled. Being water cooled makes it even more space-saving because there is no need for ventilation or air/oil heat exchangers.

To summarise, the Hydrovane customised compressor is outstanding it its design for two main reasons. One is the compact design which allows for installation in a tight space while maintaining peak performance and the other is the flexible inverter drive technology allowing the compressor to meet variable air requirements on demand.

As Authorised Distributors for Hydrovane air compressors in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, Mid-Tech are best placed to offer a total service for your transport application. Please call us on 0121 275 2787 or click here for further information.

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