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Vacuum and cryogenics

Vacuum and cryogenics

Dry scroll pumps: energy efficiency ensures sustainability is aligned with cost reduction

11 Sep 2023 Sponsored by Pfeiffer Vacuum

Pfeiffer Vacuum, a global manufacturer of specialist vacuum pumps, systems and components, is prioritizing ease of use, energy efficiency and low-noise operation in its HiScroll pump portfolio

HiScroll series of dry scroll pumps
Sustainable thinking: innovative product design and optimized manufacturing processes help to reduce material waste during the assembly and servicing of the HiScroll series of dry scroll pumps. (Courtesy: Pfeiffer Vacuum)

The HiScroll family of dry scroll vacuum pumps from Pfeiffer Vacuum, Germany, is nothing if not versatile. With the emphasis on ultra-quiet, efficient and oil-free operation, the pumps are being positioned as a core building block for small vacuum systems in academic and industrial R&D laboratories – think nanomaterials processing, thin-film deposition, mass spectrometry systems, vacuum drying and the like – as well as for backing turbopumps in the accelerator beamlines of advanced light sources and other large-scale high-energy physics facilities. Instrumentation OEMs are also on the radar, attracted by Pfeiffer Vacuum’s emphasis on sustainable product design and manufacturing – reducing the carbon footprint of the HiScroll series while simultaneously lowering operational running costs for scientific and industrial end-users.

The HiScroll series comprises three dry scroll pumps with a nominal pumping speed of 6.1—18.1 m³/h, with all formats characterized by “high-performance, high-efficiency operation” when evacuating against atmosphere. “The Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) synchronous motors with sensorless INFORM control achieve more than 50% in energy savings versus conventional drives, helping users to reduce their electrical running costs,” notes Andreas Schopphoff, head of market segment R&D at Pfeiffer Vacuum.

In terms of performance specifics, the HiScroll 6 provides a pumping speed of 6.1 m³/h and tested base pressure of 1.5×10-2 hPa, while the equivalent figures of merit are 12.1 m³/h, 6×10-3 hPa for the HiScroll 12 and 18.1 m³/h, 6×10-3 hPa for the HiScroll 18. The leakage rate for all three HiScroll variants is 5×10-7 Pa m³/s.

Plug-and-play vacuum

Simplicity and ease of use are central to the HiScroll value proposition. A case in point: using a single cable (to maximize energy saving), the HiScroll pumps are easy to connect to Pfeiffer Vacuum HiPace turbopumps, display units or to a higher-level external control system (via RS-485 or ProfiNet automation protocols). “For early-career scientists,” adds Schopphoff, “the vacuum system is an enabling technology – a means to an end that they don’t really want to think about too much. Because of that, our dry scroll pumps are designed to be plug-and-play and as intuitive as possible.”

Andreas Schopphoff of Pfeiffer Vacuum

Versatility is a given, with standardized AccessLink accessory ports allowing the use of many optional accessories, all of which are automatically recognized by the HiScroll electronics. There’s a safety valve, for example, to ensure the vacuum system is protected when the pump is stopped (or stops due to a power failure), preventing partially compressed gas from re-expanding through the pump inlet. Users can also specify an integrated pressure sensor and run the pump in “boost mode” for short periods when there’s a need to fast-track the evacuation of the vacuum chamber, while the intelligent pressure and speed control reduces energy consumption and general wear-and-tear.

Worth noting that the small-footprint motor (just 30 mm wide) means the HiScroll pumps are extremely quiet at <47 dB[A] acoustic emission when running and <42 dB[A] in stand-by mode. Meanwhile, the adaptive fan control provides optimal cooling in all operating conditions and, in turn, helps to further reduce noise and vibration impacts. “Our users really appreciate the low-vibration operation and compact design – features that make the HiScroll pumps ideal for use in tight and highly integrated working environments,” notes Schopphoff.

That triple-play of low noise, low vibration and low power consumption is also attracting interest from instrumentation OEMs, with Pfeiffer Vacuum recently securing a bulk order for HiScroll pumps from a leading manufacturer of electron microscopes. “Like many OEMs, the customer in question is taking an increasingly holistic approach to its system design,” says Schopphoff. “With the vacuum pump in ‘always on’ mode within an electron microscope, there’s clear potential to realize significant savings on electrical running costs – a big plus for many scientific and industry end-users.”

Better by design

The prioritization of sustainability in the HiScroll portfolio extends upstream as well thanks to innovative product design and granular attention to detail when it comes to assembly. “Our HiScroll series already scores points in production through deliberate material savings – for example, minimizing the amount of copper that’s used,” explains Schopphoff. What’s more, the pump housing, like the hood and the housing of the electronics, is manufactured by casting to avoid excessive production waste. That rationale even extends to the packaging, with weight-optimized and space-saving insulating materials protecting the HiScroll pumps from damage during transit.

‘New pumps for old’ offer will cut energy use, save money

Do you know how much power your current vacuum pump is using? If you don’t, but suspect the answer is likely to be “too much”, then Pfeiffer Vacuum wants to hear from you.

The company’s HiScroll family of dry scroll vacuum pumps is being positioned as an energy-saving and money-saving alternative to legacy vacuum pumps, offering >50% enhancements in energy efficiency for specific research, industry and OEM applications.

Notwithstanding the operational upside, Pfeiffer Vacuum is also offering to scrap users’ existing rotary-vane or diaphragm pumps in exchange for a new HiScroll alternative at a discounted price. “Our ‘new-for-old’ offer is about helping customers to cut down on their electrical running costs, reduce noise levels in the lab, and save some money along the way,” explains Schopphoff.

There’s a simple two-step process to apply for your new HiScroll pump:

  • Step 1: send an email with the subject line “Save Energy”, a photo of your old vacuum pump’s nameplate, plus your contact information to .
  • Step 2: a Pfeiffer Vacuum expert will contact you immediately with a special offer for a suitable replacement.

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