Power player: Atlas Copco, with Flow, on its rental generators

Atlas Copco Portable Energy discusses the utility and applications of its QAS and QAC generator sets, and shares the perspectives of Flow Air + Power Solutions, as customer in the rental segment

Four QAS 500 units are installed as a synchronised back-up power facility, their in-built power management system enabling the operator to optimise their fuel consumption.
Four QAS 500 units are installed as a synchronised back-up power facility, their in-built power management system enabling the operator to optimise their fuel consumption.

Atlas Copco Portable Energy is a division of the Atlas Copco Group specialised in delivering portable compressors, generators, pumps and lighting towers to a wide variety of end users.

As Ahmed Hamdy, business line manager for portable energy MENA at Atlas Copco, explains: “Atlas Copco Portable Energy has a clear strategy.  Firstly to provide efficient products — we strive to develop products that are better for our customers and better for the environment. Secondly, the products should be easy to take to your worksite, therefore a huge focus has been given to make our products smaller, lighter, and have features which makes them easier to move.

“We are typically looking for opportunities in several applications: rental companies, oil and gas, construction sites and mining and quarries. Our premium products are ideal for both on-site prime power applications and critical standby applications.

“In all cases, our approach is to focus on anticipating our customer’s future needs in terms of energy requirements and service, and design, products that deliver exceptional value.”

In the rental segment in particular, the key drivers, according to Hamdy, include manoeuvrability, serviceability and low fuel consumption, and he notes that Atlas Copco’s QAS range of generators, been particularly well received in this region. Versatile, with robust canopies and high fuel efficiency, the machines consume 10% less fuel than their peers in the market.

This range is geared for rental operations, and Hamdy notes: “All of the generators in the QAS range — from 14kVa to 630kVA — are designed with multi-drop applications in mind, and are built for easy of transport, installation and storage — with compact dimensions, even weight distribution and strong frames with built-in forklift slots.

Large doors and removable service plates also ensure superior accessibility and quick maintenance, while heavy duty filtration systems increase the service intervals.

Hamdy continues: “Every Atlas Copco QAS generator also features a controller equipped with a power management system that enables operators to vary the load, optimise their fuel consumption and expand the lifetime of generators when they work in parallel as a primary power plant. It’s thanks to this robustness that the QAS range has on average a 50% higher re-sale value after five years than comparable brands.”

A newly launched product, the TwinPower QAC1100 meanwhile features twin 500 kVA generators running together in a 20-foot container.  Hamdy notes: “It gives rental companies true versatility for variable power applications. This allows each unit to run in the most efficient way possible with up to 15% reduction in fuel consumption.”

Feeling the flow

One example of a happy customer in the region is Flow Air & Power Solutions, a firm established in 2010 and specialising in temporary power and cooling solutions to various industry sectors.

Jonathan Calvert, GM for the Middle East & North Africa at Flow, notes: “Based out of Jebel Ali, we can quickly dispatch equipment to anywhere in the UAE, supported by our team of highly skilled, qualified engineers. Over the years we have grown dramatically and built a reputation as a reliable supplier.

“We chose Atlas Copco due to their reputation in the market for producing high quality, reliable and efficient products. The power generator market has become very competitive over the last five years with many more players competing within the industry. Having the right product coupled with engineered solutions gives us the competitive advantage required to stay ahead of the curve.

“We did a lot of research into generator suppliers and Atlas Copco were the company that met our needs. Combine with their innovation and continuous improvement they were the obvious choice.

“We find our 500kVAs and 1000KVA twin packs are our most successful machines, and we maintain 75% utilisation with these throughout the year. These are mostly used in larger applications, including events and critical back-up power applications.”

Notably, all of Flow’s generators also have load sharing functions and remote monitoring — to reasure its clients that they are guaranteed stable continuous power.

Calvert continues: “The TwinPower product is fantastic for our business, as it offers our clients the opportunity to save not only fuel but importantly space. Most of our projects involve supplying a synchronised, back-up solution, so being able to offer two 500 KVA generators in a single 20ft container is something that has impressed our clients.”

The TwinPower is ideal for applications that have variable loads, by allowing users to draw a low load, a full load and anywhere in-between, and optimise their running costs.

“It’s often difficult to anticipate your exact on-site power requirements, and to be safe, companies can go for an over-sized generator and run it at a lower load,” explains Hamdy.

“But this harms both the efficiency and the lifespan of your equipment. Alternatively, if you start with a smaller generator, you will then face extra costs if you have to purchase additional equipment to meet higher loads.

“The QAC 1100 eliminates these problems, accommodating high and low loads efficiently.”

Calvert adds: “It’s important to be ahead of the curve with technology, as we are working in an always evolving market, and being the first in the region to provide the Atlas Copco TwinPower generator is us setting the trend.”

Looking at the broader market, Hamdy adds: “Though the construction business has been lagging behind in terms of its recovery in the current economic climate, demand for our generators and lighting towers is booming and we continue to expand our market share for on-site power and lighting.

“Our investment in a class-leading range of products is paying off in terms of fuel efficiency, toughness, and reliability.”

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