What are the three types of compressors?

What are the three types of compressors

You are possibly well acquainted with air compressors if you work in some car service or any other machinery industry. These versatile tools are used to clean areas, repair items, power devices, and treat instruments. They can even produce heat! 80% and 90% of the power tools used an air compressor to generate heat. Same thing for a portable jump starter.

There are several air compressors, and air compressed hoses are also available in a different form? But in this article, we will review 3 basic types of air compressors. So, read on to find out more about these 3 types of compressors that are available.

3 basic types of air compressor

  • Reciprocating
  • Rotary Screw
  • Rotary Centrifugal

Reciprocating Air Compressor

The air compressor is available in several different models, but the reciprocating model is the most common. As it is listed above Rotary screw compressor or a rotary centrifugal compressor are other options. But this model of reciprocating is more popular; let’s talk about how they work.

This is a great tool that should be owned by all car owners due to its significant operations. This system can be single or double-acting and can be oil-lubricated or oil-free.

Reciprocating compressors operate by using the piston to fill the tank with air. As the piston pulls air out, the valves and seals around the air are protected and prevented from escaping. More air is pumped into the chamber after each cycle, enhancing its pressure.

The pistons are arranged in an L-shape in the double-acting versions, with the vertical cylinder under low pressure and the horizontal cylinder under high pressure. This setting makes it possible for the compressor to operate more effectively, meaning that a more stable PSI can be maintained.

An air compressor plays a very significant role, whether in industry or at home. How the air compressor works, we’ll see very quickly. They typically have a wide tube within which the crankshaft and connecting rod are powered, called a piston cylinder.

The cylinder is filled with atmospheric air as the piston is reduced, resulting in a solid cylinder filled with air under ambient pressure. The piston begins to lift again as the crankshaft returns smoothly. The pressure produced within the cylinder closes the intake valve, and the spring is mounted on the valve. Then the automatic drain valve opens with an increase in pressure. The exhaust valve closes when the piston reaches its full elevated position.

The loop repeats, and inside the tank, the pressure rises more and more. The pressure is sensed by a unique sensor mounted on the tank, and the compressor drive motor is released. The sensor restarts the engine when the tank pressure decreases due to air intake or leakage.

To preserve the oil droplet suspensions for their lubrication, the compressor is lubricated with a certain amount of oil present in the compressor oil boiler and lubrication devices air supply shaft. Valves in the cylinder inside. To be drained periodically, they feature a transparent filter in which much of the air is stored, preventing it from entering the compression chamber. This is how it functions on a simple compressor.

Rotary Screw Compressors

Positive volume compressors are rotary air compressors. A single-stage oil valve compressor or a scroll screw air compressor is the most common rotational air compressor. These compressors consist of two rotors in a shell in which the rotors compress the air from the inside. These systems are oil-cooled (with air or water oil coolers), where the oil fills the internal voids.

The parts never undergo high operating temperatures as cooling happens directly in the compressor. Therefore, a rotary compressor is a continuously working compressor unit which is cooled by air or water.

It is simple to maintain and operate Rotary screw air compressors. Capacity control of these compressors takes place at variable speeds and volumes of the compressor. The drawer is put in the housing for the last control technique. The slider opens and lets part of the compressed air into the intake when the compressor’s power is decreased. A rotary screw compressor’s benefits include a smooth and non-pulsed air outlet for long service life in a compact size with a wide outlet capacity.

In the compression chamber, the oil-free rotary screw air compressor uses specially built airheads to compress the oil-free air, providing real oil-free air. With both air and water cooling, oil-free rotary air compressors are available and provide the same versatility as oil flow rotations when oil-free air is needed.

Centrifugal Compressors

Centrifugal compressors rely on high-speed turbine pumps to accelerate gases and increases generated pressure. They are used mostly in high-volume applications, such as industrial refrigeration systems in the range of over 100 hp, and in large process plants where they can reach up to 20,000 hp and produce volumes below 200,000 cfm. Centrifugal compressors, almost similar to centrifugal pumps, increase the gas speed by moving it through a revolving impeller. With its velocity decreasing and the pressure increasing, the gas expands into a rounded volume.

There are lower compression ratios for centrifugal compressors than for scroll compressors, but they handle huge gas volumes. To increase the compression ratio, many centrifugal compressors use several passes. Gas usually passes between the refrigerators in these multistage compressors.

Main Components Of Air Compressor

Some of the significant components of an air compressor, common to all available compressor types, are as follows:

Power Source: This is a crucial component of all compressor types and is needed for compressors’ operation. For an effective and continuous compressor rotation without nodding, the power source or electric motor is used.

Cooling Water: To cool the compressor between stages, cooling water is used.

Lubricating Oil: To maintain all moving parts of the compressor, lubricating oil is required. In certain parts of the compressor, this lubrication reduces friction. It gives the compressor a longer service life by reducing compressor component wear.

Air: This is a part you can’t even imagine an air compressor without. The air is under low pressure around us and acts as an inlet to the compressor.

Suction Valve: The suction valve is fitted with a suction filter that fills the compressor compartment with air compressed.

Outlet Valve: This valve guides the exhaust air to the desired position or the tank or cylinder of the storage air towards the exhaust.

A basic understanding of compressor types, power choices, and other necessary details are well analyzed in this guide.


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