Compressor Types in Industrial Chillers
A reciprocating compressor is a compressor that uses pistons driven by a crankshaft. It is used for delivering a small amount of refrigerant at a very high pressure. Reciprocating compressors may carry a dual voltage and range from three to sixty horsepower. Reciprocating compressors are usually semi – hermetic compressors, which simply means that they are serviceable.
Centrifugal compressors have few moving parts which make them a favorite in the industry. They are also very energy efficient and give a higher refrigerant flow than a similarly sized reciprocating compressor. Centrifugal compressors are more suited to higher volume but low pressure applications, such as those that use ventilation fans, cooling units, and air movers. The centrifugal compressor operates by using the centrifugal force applied to an air mass to achieve compression. Typical capacities range from sixty to several hundred tons. These are hermetically sealed, magnetic bearing compressors and are 230 volts OR 460 volts.
The screw compressor is almost exactly as it sounds. There are two screws (male & female) in a screw compressor that are fitted together in stationary housing. As the rotors rotate, the gas is compressed by direct volume reduction between the two rotors. These compressors are also semi – hermetically sealed compressors, carry a dual voltage, and range from 40 – 1000 horsepower. There are also single screw compressors which rely on a single rotating screw passing through two star wheels to provide the compression.