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Central Compressors supply air systems for nuclear submarine refits at Devonport Dockyard

Central Compressors has won a six-figure order to supply two specialised systems to Devonport Dockyard.  The compressors have been specially designed to supply breathing air for undersea applications.  At Devonport, they are to be used to supply air to the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines when they dock for refits. 

During a refit the submarine’s compressed air supply is out of action, so an external source has to be provided.  When a sub docks, one of the compressors will be towed out and connected to the hull to ensure a constant supply of clean breathing air while the work is carried out. 

Putting the finishing touches to one of the systems for Devonport Dockyard

The naval base at Devonport is the largest in Western Europe.  Devonport Royal Dockyard is the UK's sole refitting and defuelling site for the Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered submarines, the Swiftsure and Trafalgar class attack submarines and the larger Vanguard class ballistic submarines, which carry Trident missiles.

In a refit, the pressure hull which houses the crew, power plant and weapons and all the key systems are inspected and repaired or replaced as necessary. Spent nuclear fuel may be removed and replaced with new fuel and selected systems will be updated with new technology to enhance operation or safety performance.

The compressors deliver 130 cu metres per hour of compressed filtered air at 350 bar, around 4900 pounds per square inch.

“Speedy Power, who supply the dockyard, chose our systems for their technical excellence and reliability” commented Dave Bater, Managing Director, Central Compressors.  “This is a very substantial order for us and we’re hoping it will lead to others internationally.”

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