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Avantair – A compact air to air cooler using heat pipes, for challenging environments

Avantair is an advanced air-to-air cooler. Unique in the marketplace, it uses heat pipes to transfer energy from the generator to the surrounding environment using forced air movement and an extended finned surface.

Initially developed for the space industry, Avantair is a low maintenance, efficient and cost-effective cooling system ideal for hazardous and challenging environments from offshore to desert locations.

Key benefits

  1. Photo of an Avantair, heat pipe technology, an advanced air-to-air cooler for challenging environment No water – and none of the piping, pumps or filters associated with water cooling methods (TEWAC). That means no flooding, no power loss and no corrosion and long service life. Installation is fast and simple. All it needs is a low voltage electricity supply.

  2. Compact yet powerful – Avantair is much smaller than conventional TEAAC and fits on top of the generator, within the footprint of the machine. Delivering cooler air, potentially, reduces the size of generators or increases power output.

  3. Low maintenance – downtime is eliminated through on-line maintenance and plug-and-play replacement of components completed while the machine is running.

  4. Long-lasting and reliable – intelligent design and use of materials deliver a 20-year service life with minimal erosion or corrosion. Avantair rarely breaks down and provides 100% availability.

How Avantair works

Heat pipes (also known as thermosyphons) were initially developed Avantair Cut, Sterling Thermal Technology's designfor the space industry but are now widely used across the electronics and industrial sectors. A thermosyphon is an enclosed pipework system with no moving parts. Differential pressure drives the refrigerant from the condensation to the evaporation end of a sealed tube:

  • Higher temperatures at the condensation end bring the contained refrigerant to the boiling point
  • The vapour rises to the top of the tube where cooler air is passed around it
  • The refrigerant condenses and drops back to the condensation end.

The refrigeration cycle utilising latent energy provides greater cooling capacity and closer approach temperatures than a traditional air-cooled system, while the use of individual heat pipes offers unrivalled levels of redundancy.

In operation, Avantair sends cooled air into the generator at less than 10 degrees above ambient conditions. This compares with at least 20 degrees for a standard air-to-air cooler. Maintenance, which takes place every 8,000 service hours, lasts around 2 hours and can be carried out while the generator is working, with no need for shut-downs. Few spare parts are ever required, thanks to the simplicity of design.

Avantair was designed by STT in 1998 as a low maintenance and efficient cooler for the wind turbine and generator market. Most air-to-air coolers are too large for off-shore use, but Avantair is extremely compact because of its highly efficient means of rejecting heat.

The combination of the very effective block fin together with the efficient thermosyphon technology provides a robust, high-performance solution which has been proven in more than 150 tough and challenging projects throughout the world, including refineries and liquefied natural gas plants, TLPs (Deepwater Tension Leg Platforms) and FPSOs (floating production storage and offloading facilities).

Avantair offers considerable savings in project time and costs over every available alternative technology whether for new build or refurbishment. It has also been successfully used to upgrade open circuit machines to close circuit operation, reducing maintenance and extending service life.

To better understand how Avantair works, watch our video.


If you feel you need another type of heat exchanger, visit our products and services page or contact us.

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We use Avantair for air-to-air cooling as it allows us to provide higher power output compared to conventional coolers, while meeting the most stringent safety standards. This gives our clients the edge in efficient production of clean, safe and reliable energy.

Dirk Petzoldt, Manager Stator Design, Siemens Generator Plant Erfurt

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