Otechos’ patented energy efficient compressor.

Otechos is granted NOK 14.2 million to speed up time-to-market for its patented energy efficient compressor.

“The money is of course important, but the acknowledgement might prove even more valuable. Only the best of technologies receive funding from Horizon 2020,” says COO Frode H. Larssen at Otechos.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. Its aim is to secure Europe’s global competitiveness.

Otechos launched a program to develop a new type compressor for air and gases in 2013. The main objectives for this new machine, which is based on several patent-pending principles, are less energy consumption (up to 20 per cent reduction compared with conventionally screw- and piston based machines), an oil free compression process, a vibration free and low noise operation, simple construction (very few moving parts) and low weight and small footprint. After receiving a phase 1 grant last year, Otechos was also given a phase 2 grant from of Horizon 2020 this year.

“Our technology allows for a compression process with no mechanical touching parts in the process chambers, and with no mechanical valves incorporated. This means that there is no need for lubrication, and also that water injection during the compressing can be used. Water injection, cooling simultaneously with compression reduces the energy consumption considerably and also performs a sealing effect between the parts, forming the chambers for suction and discharge,” explains Larssen.

The idea and technology obviously resonated well with Horizon 2020, one of several EU initiatives supporting innovation of environment-friendly technology.

“Horizon 2020 is a great funding program which covers 70 per cent of our total cost. We are now in the middle of the process of staffing the project. Among new employees is a professor from Birmingham in the United Kingdom, who has worked with combustion engines for NASA. We are very excited to get started,” says Larssen and CEO Tor Arne Hauge.

COO Frode H. Larssen (left) and CEO Tor Arne Hauge at Otechos.
Elliptically shaped gear.