Compressors are machines which increase the pressure of air, gases, or vapours through input of mechanical work. They are used in very diverse industrial processes like refining, exploration and production, chemical industries, medical applications, but also as process enabler such as in blowing processes (for beverage glass containers for example). 

Compressors have been identified as a product of which the energy efficiency can be improved. Measures have already been taken in China, and the US are also currently considering test procedures and energy conservation standards.

What is the EU doing?

A preparatory study has been completed in 2014. On the basis of this study, the Commission made a legislative proposal which has been discussed with the Ecodesign Consultation Forum in October 2014. The final regulation could be adopted in the end of 2015. The draft measure on standard compressors would lead to savings in the range of 0.5 Mtoe annually by 2030, the equivalent to removing 200,000 cars from our roads every year.

What does the Coolproducts campaign want?

  • The regulation in development only covers standard air compressors. Coolproducts want the other types of compressors to be analysed and regulated too (oil free and low pressure compressors). Substantial part of the savings hides there. 
  • Coolproducts would like the requirements to be set at the least life cycle cost level as recommended by the Ecodesign Directive, which would lead to considerably higher savings
  • Permanent magnet motors are present in compressors, and these can contain rare earth elements, which have been identified as critical materials. Devices with rare earth magnets are quite hard to identify as such without having very specific technical know-how or without conducting quite intensive testing/dismantling of devices Thus, we are asking for a mandatory and standardised marking of products containing rare earth magnets above a certain minimum weight which would facilitate future recycling practices.

 Coolproducts' technical input and position papers are available below

 2016 - Technical contribution to the second compressors study: Tasks 1-4

 2014 - Input to the consultation forum on standard air compressors

 2014 - Input on standard air compressors to the horizontal consultation forum