Powering Airia’s contribution to the Rona sailing project

1st February 2019
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Powering Airia’s contribution to the Rona sailing project

The Project allows young people to acquire a sense of responsibility, resourcefulness and teamwork, which will help them throughout their lives.Their fleet includes the Donald Searle, an Ocean 75 yacht built in Poole in 1979 and named after an early volunteer and major Project benefactor. The yacht has now been docked for repainting – a significant and demanding project for the 25-metre vessel.

Fulfilling this project, which would normally be prohibitively expensive for charities, is possible due to the generosity of sponsors like International Paint – part of AkzoNobel – who are providing both the paint and the specialist manpower needed to apply it.

Painting the hull involves several activities, including sanding, repair, blowing off dust, and application of the primer and then the topcoat. The tools used in these activities operate on compressed air - and this will be available thanks to Airia, who are providing the Atlas Copco air compressor together with the expertise and effort needed to set it up free of charge.

“We are delighted to be contributing to this project” commented Andy Drummond, Director and Co-founder at Airia, “We regard it as an extremely worthy cause; one that I can relate especially well to, as I have enjoyed sailing for most of my life. We are also in an excellent position to help, as we are an authorised Atlas Copco premier distributor and service partner. This has enabled us to loan a G11 full-featured oil-injected rotary screw compressor, which is ideal for the job.”

Tim Bannister is ideally placed to comment on the compressor, as he is not only a Technical Support Specialist (Global Yacht RD&I) at AkzoNobel, but also a Volunteer of 26 years’ standing on the Rona Project. He deeply appreciates Airia’s support – and is equally happy with the Atlas Copco compressor being supplied. “We’re familiar with the benefits of Atlas Copco, as we have been running one of their larger compressors at an International Paint site without any problem for three years now.”

Tim continued: “The type of compressor used in the Rona Sailing Project is also very reliable. It’s also easy to manage, thanks to its onboard computer that monitors service hours, and tells you of any issues that need attention.”

The compressor’s load/no load control algorithm optimises performance and reliability, while minimising power consumption. It switches the compressor controller automatically to the optimum control mode for high, low or intermittent air consumption. Additionally, the Full Feature (FF) version, as used for The Rona Sailing Project, has a built-in refrigerant air dryer that prevents moisture from entering the compressed air network. This avoids rust in the compressed air piping and damage to the air tools, as well as contamination of the paint.

Ultimately, the technology’s benefits will be felt far and wide. The Rona Sailing Project is one of the oldest Sail Training organisations in the UK, established for over fifty years. In that time, they have taken over 20,000 young people to sea and given them the experience of a lifetime, greater self-confidence and a new perspective on the world. With active support from a dedicated full-time team of four plus 400 volunteers, the Project can continue to touch the lives of a large and disparate group of people that all significantly benefit from an experience at sea.

Atlas Copco’s G11 compressor is part of the G7 – G15 EL series and is quiet, efficient, powerful and reliable. It also features a patented, powerful rotary screw element which permits a 100 per cent duty cycle, while offering a free air delivery increased by up to 3% compared to previous models.

Operating and maintaining the compressor is simplified by BASE, an electronic controller offering advanced monitoring and control functions. These include an icon-based display of pressure settings and temperature readings, together with a summary of running hours and hours worked at load. The controller also provides service warnings, and allows direct setting of the outlet pressure.

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