The Swiss high-tech company Celeroton AG (www.celeroton.com) is the leading manufacturer of ultra-high-speed electrical drive systems and turbo compressors with speeds up to 1 million rpm. Celeroton’s headquarter is located in Volketswil, Switzerland.

Celeroton‘s oil-free turbo compressors and converters are designed for the highest energy efficiency at the lowest volume and weight. Their innovation lies in the interdisciplinary know-how in the areas of aerodynamics, gas and magnetic bearings, mechanics, electromagnetics, electronics, control systems and software that allows for outstanding solutions in terms of compact size, efficiency and control performance.

Application areas of the turbo compressors include air supply and hydrogen recirculation in fuel cells, recirculation of noble and inert gases, air conditioning and heat pumps, high-tech blowers, respirators and decentralized pneumatics.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Celeroton: Celeroton focuses on the following markets: fuel cells for light and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, passenger cars, port vehicles, forklifts, trains, aerospace and buses. Recirculation of noble and inert gases in additive manufacturing, compression of refrigerants in air conditioning and heat pumps and high-tech blowers are other application areas served by our products.

Many applications in these highly specialized fields have unique requirements, which can’t be met by standard products. Our skilled interdisciplinary team develops, together with our customers and partners, an appropriate solution. Either by modifying our standard products or by developing a new solution based on our high-speed technology.

E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products?

Celeroton: With the launch of the turbo compressor series CT-NG Celeroton expanded its product portfolio of ultra-high-speed, gas bearing turbo compressors with a turbo compressor specifically optimized for noble and inert gases. As a first variant of the turbo compressor series, the CT-NG-2000 is available for 100% oil-free compression of helium.

Besides single-stage operation, the CT-NG-2000 allows for the connection of multiple units in series and/or parallel configurations in order to increase the pressure ratio and/or mass flow depending on the application. Master/slave control of these configurations is achieved by bus communications, e.g. CAN or PROFINET, between the converters from the Celeroton portfolio, for example the CC-230-3500.

The modular CT-NG platform covers different gases, such as argon, neon, nitrogen and gas mixtures (e.g. with a noble gas as a carrier gas), by making appropriate aerodynamics and gas bearing adaptions. The sealing concept of the compressor minimizes contact of the process gas with (so called wetted) materials within the compressor and therefore works fully without the need for rotating sealings. This allows the compressor to be operated in hydrogen, pure oxygen or reactive and aggressive gases. It guarantees a high level of tightness and very low leakage rates.

With the CT-2X series we launched a new turbo compressor line in order to meet the increased market demand for higher mass flow and pressure ratios in the fuel cell industry. The CT-2X consumes the lowest available space, offers a long lifetime, oil-free operation, lowest weight and an optimized cost on the market. The new compressors are based on a common platform, which supports a modular extension that provides different aerodynamic characteristics. As with other compressor series from Celeroton, the new turbo compressors are supplied with their own converter electronics.

E.E: What are the ranges of traded products?

Celeroton: Celeroton offers ultra-high-speed motors, turbo compressors with gas bearings and converters for the control of its motors and turbo compressors with output power up to 12 kW. The converters are able to operate electrical motors up to 500,000 rpm with sensorless speed control.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

Celeroton: The fuel cell industry is still in its early stage of market penetration in light and heavy-duty vehicles. However, the technology is more and more recognized and accepted. Europe is playing a key role in this respect with the Green Deal recently announced by the European Commission.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

Celeroton: Applications in noble and rare gas recirculation often do not need compressors with supplying for example helium with eight bar outlet pressure. Instead of reducing the outlet pressure of the compressor with a pressure reduction valve and with that wasting energy, a compressor with lower outlet pressure can be used to supply the noble gas directly to the application. Celeroton can provide such compressors with high-energy efficiency.

The fuel cell market is asking for more compact, lightweight and energy efficient solutions for the air supply of the fuel cell. There is more and more demand for a complementary solution between the compressor and the converter with communication protocols available for integration into the vehicle.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

Celeroton: In 2016, we launched our first turbo compressor with air bearings which was a milestone in our company development. These compressors allow for 250,000 and more start/stop cycles and lifetimes of several 10,000 hours.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020?

Celeroton: Due to the Covid-19 crisis, we had to reduce our expectation and forecasts for 2020. However, there are still markets that allow for growth this year, e.g. the fuel cell industry.

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