Drives and Controls Magazine
Micro-compressor is ‘the first innovation for 100 years’
Published:  31 January, 2017

A Scottish company claims to have developed world’s smallest high-pressure, low-vibration clean-air compressor. Edinburgh-based Vert Rotors adds that its tiny device is the first real innovation in micro-compressor technology for a century.

The Vert.04 compressor produces clean air compressed to 7.9 bar (115 psi) – nearly four times higher than existing small compressors, which struggle to produce more than 2.2 bar (32 psi).

The compressor was originally developed to cool satellites, but has now been adapted for terrestrial applications. It uses water injection instead of machine oil, thus eliminating the risk of contamination.

Vert’s CEO Olly Dmitriev points out that while oil is the most efficient lubricant, oil particles can contaminate the air produced. “Water is the natural alternative, but the current generation of water-injected compressors that are small enough for medical applications struggle to operate efficiently or to produce the high pressure that’s needed. Our compressor solves this problem by using a conical screw design, with the male rotor revolving inside the female rotor, making them the only miniature screw compressor that reaches high efficiency.”

Vert’s tiny compressor is not much bigger than a watch

Dmitriev says that alternative micro-compressors are noisy and subject to vibrations, making them unacceptable for many potential applications. “The current design was developed almost 100 years ago ­– no wonder they cannot achieve low vibration when working at high pressure,” he adds.

Three-quarters of Vert’s customers are outside the UK and include manufacturers in the EU and US. The company, which was founded in 2013, has recruited seven staff in the past year, taking its headcount to ten. In July last year, the firm secured £1.5m of backing from a group of investors.