Our 3-stage air-cooled models – Over 40 years on board
It was 1975 when the world's largest railway ferry – the Railship I – entered service as the first ship with 3-stage air-cooled Sauer-Compressors. For a long time, it plied the Travemünde – Hanko (Finland) route. While the ferry is long since a thing of the past, almost certainly broken up and its parts used on some new ship, you can still buy a replacement block for the WP 100L used back then from Sauer Compressors.
We recently supplied genuine Sauer spare parts for the sister ships Railship II and III, which we also originally fitted out and are now sailing under the Russian flag. Their size of almost 200 m in length, quite respectable for the time, makes them look as small as toys next to today's ULCVs (ultra large container vessels). Nevertheless, not much has changed in the fundamental functioning of the compressors in 40 years. The diesel engines are still started with 30 bar compressed air (for comparison – Railship III: twin-engine system, 16,500 kW; MSC Jade, the largest current container ship: single-engine system, 75,570 kW).
Over the years, the first 3-stage air-cooled compressor types – WP 100L, WP 120 L and WP 150L – have been continuously developed and adapted to changing requirements.
The new WP 180L, WP 275L, WP 320L and WP 460L types recently launched mean that there are now fundamentally revised compressors with a very high output on the market, although at their core they are still – and will remain – 3-stage air-cooled units. Thanks to the greater output of up to 460 m³/h, even very large engine systems can be fitted with just three compressors, instead of four or even five as in the past.
This means that Sauer Compressors is well set up for the future, without forgetting its roots.