There are many types of compressors based on their working principles, architecture, and use application and all of them have their different advantages and disadvantages.
So let’s discuss each of the different types of compressors one by one by their brief introduction and application ranges.
Based on the Working Principle
Piston compressor: It uses a reciprocating piston to compress the refrigerant gas, commonly used in residential, small commercial refrigeration, and air conditioning systems, for example, Refcomp Piston Compressor, Bitzer compressor, Frascold compressor, Carlyle compressor, Dorin compressor, Bock compressor, etc.
Diaphragm Compressors: Instead of a piston, it uses a flexible diaphragm to compress the gas, used in applications where absolute gas purity is needed, for example in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.
Rotary Compressor: It uses vanes that rotate inside a cylindrical chamber to compress the gas, used in small to medium-sized air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
This type of rotary compressor can be the best fit for household applications with low capacity for example fridges, freezers, and ACs.
In some cases, the twin rotary compressor version, another version of the rotary vane compressor, is used instead of a scroll compressor where higher noise and high vibrations are problematic.
So besides single rotary vane compressors, you can choose these high-efficiency twin rotary vane compressors for your heavy commercial and industrial applications with up to 50KW cooling capacity.
Rotary Screw Compressors: It has two interlocking helical rotors that compress the gas while rotating and has a higher compressor ratio compared to reciprocating compressors, mostly used in larger industrial, commercial HVAC systems, refrigeration, large chillers, and air conditioner applications.
Scroll Compressors: Scroll compressor uses two spiral-shaped scrolls to compress the refrigerant, well known for efficiency, and quiet operation. Scroll compressors are used in domestic air conditioners and light industrial applications like heat pumps, etc.
Centrifugal Compressors: It uses a high-speed rotating impeller to accelerate the refrigerant gas that is compressed as it flows through a diffuser.
A centrifugal compressor is the best choice for large chillers running on R134A refrigerant gas.
It can ensure a higher efficiency, and an inverter-controlled oil and vibrationless compression operation.
If you have a high-cost budget for your large commercial and industrial cooling systems application, a centrifugal compressor might be the best choice that can make sure your project has higher cooling capacity and low compression ratios.
Axial Compressors: They use a series of rotating blades to compress the refrigerant gas along the axis of rotation.
Axial compressors are used in very high-capacity industrial cooling systems, for example in power plants and large industrial refrigeration facilities.
Related Reading: Scroll Compressors VS Rotary Compressors
Based on the Construction of the Compressor Body
Hermetic, Semi-Hermetic & Open Compressor:
Hermetic Compressor: Hermetic compressors are sealed units where the motor and compressor are housed in a single, welded shield. Hermetic compressors are used in smaller residential and commercial systems.
Semi-Hermetic Compressor: Unlike a hermetic compressor, semi-hermetic compressors have a removable cover, allowing for maintenance and repair, often found in larger commercial and industrial refrigeration systems.
Related Reading: Semi-hermetic Compressor vs Hermetic Compressor
Open Drive Refrigeration Compressors: An open drive compressor has a separate motor and compressors and there is no shield or cover to protect the internal components, also used in industrial and commercial refrigeration systems.
Considering to choose between a hermetic, semi-hermetic, or open compressor comes when you need to select one between an affordable hermetic compressor unit that can’t repaired or an expensive semi-hermetic or open one that can be repaired and replaced some parts if there is a problem.
Oil-Injected Compressors & Oil-Free Compressors:
Some compressor types run without oil, which is called an oil-free compressor.
On the other hand, some compressor requires oil for lubrication is called an oil-injected compressor.
If oil contamination is a concern in your project, such as pharmaceutical or food processing industries, you can use oil-free compressors.
The oil-injected compressor is commonly used in other various applications but needs to take care of oil contamination prevention.