Why it’s a headache when it comes to selecting the best compressor for a refrigeration system?
If you can’t choose a suitable compressor, you will have to end up with a shortened lifespan refrigeration system with inefficient operation, reduced reliability, and higher operating costs.
But when there are many compressor options to select from, how to find the best one, whether for industrial or household needs?
In this article, we will show how to select the best compressor for your refrigeration system analyzing all factors like its type, use application, unit requirements, price, efficiency, and so on.
So If you need a new compressor, replace the old compressor system, or want to upgrade the current compressor’s capacity, the first step to your success is to read the full article carefully.
Here is each step at a glance if you want to choose the right compressor for the refrigeration system:
- Know how many types of compressors are available
- The types of applications where the compressor will be used
- The compressor orientation & temperature
- The cooling capacity, size & other factor
- The types of refrigerant, required voltage, and frequency
- Specific application requirements & electrical connections
- Economic analysis, pros and cons analysis of compressor
How Many Types of Compressors Are Available?
- Reciprocating compressor(SECOP, EMBRACO, Kulthorn, Huaguang, Jiaxipera, Donper)
- Rotary Compressor
- Rotary Screw Compressors
- Scroll Compressors
- Hermetic Compressor
- Semi-Hermetic Compressor (Bitzer, Carlyle, Refcomp, Frascold, Dorin, Bock)
- Open Drive Refrigeration Compressors
Know Your Application Requirements:
Types of Refrigerant Compressors by Application:
Based on the specific application within the HVACR industry, refrigerant compressors can be classified as below:
Air conditioning Compressor: Designed cool and dehumidifying indoor air of residential and commercial air conditioning systems like central air conditioning units, window units, and ductless mini-split systems.
Freezer compressor: Though it is included in the refrigeration compressor, but specifically designed for maintaining very low temperatures in commercial and industrial freezer applications like walk-in freezers and blast freezers.
Chiller Compressor: Designed to provide chilled water for cooling processes in large buildings, industrial facilities, data centers, and other industrial or commercial cooling systems.
Fridge compressor: Designed to maintain the low temperature inside household refrigerators or freezers.
They are typically hermetic types of compressors.
Mini Compressor: Designed for use in small refrigerators, portable air conditioners, and other compact cooling systems.
These compressors are smaller in size, capacity, and output are also low compared to larger industrial compressors.
Transport refrigeration compressor: Designed to be used in refrigerated transport vehicles like trucks, containers, storage, etc.
This compressor can operate a wide range of temperatures to ensure the proper storage and right temperatures.
Consider the Application Orientation:
However, a compressor also can be a horizontal compressor or a vertical compressor based on its construction layout or orientation
Horizontal Compressor: In a horizontal compressor, the components including the motor and cylinder are oriented horizontally, and the compressor unit sits parallel to the ground.
Various compressor types like reciprocating, rotary, or scroll can be horizontal compressors, used in rail transportation system
Vertical Compressor: The components are oriented vertically in a vertical compressor and the compressor unit stands upright, often used in applications where space is limited or there is a specific configuration requirement to install it vertically.
Reciprocating, scrolling, or other compressor types also can be vertical compressors used in applications like air conditioning, etc.
It’s important to know if your unit uses a vertical or horizontal compressor as it also determines if you need a higher-capacity compressor compared to a unit with different requirements.
Determine The Application’s Temperature
It’s necessary to know your application’s required temperature where the compressor will operate. Based on that, you can choose a suitable one.
Low-temperature refrigerant compressor: This temperature is typically below freezing, extremely low temperature.
For your application deep freezers, cryogenic systems, or laboratories where temperatures need to be maintained well below -4° F.
Medium-temperature refrigerant compressor: This is a moderate cooling temperature in the range of -4°F to 23°F, commonly found in commercial refrigeration systems, walk-in coolers, and some air conditioner units.
High-temperature refrigerant compressor: If your application like air conditioning units and heat pumps for residential or commercial buildings needs higher temperature within a range of above 23°F, you can get a high-temperature compressor.
Ultra-high temperature refrigerant compressor: Some applications that need very high temperatures such as industrial processes, chemical processing, or certain manufacturing processes that involve extreme heat can use these compressors.
Apart from these applications’ temperature categorization, if you need a compressor that can operate a wide range of temperatures, or switch between heating and cooling modes, you can use variable temperature compressors.
These types of compressors can work in different weather conditions around the year.
Especially in refrigerated transport trucks or containers, or some heat pump systems may require such compressors.
Considering the pressure is important as the suction and discharge temperature range are different depending on it.
It is also important to choose the compressor capacity as it is related to pressure and temperature.
Consider the Capacity:
When we talk about capacity, don’t get confused about refrigerator capacity and compressor capacity.
A refrigerator capacity is the interior storage space or volume available for storing food and other items inside the refrigerator at a specific temperature range, measured in cubic feet or liters.
The common range for a refrigerator capacity is from 10 to 24 cubic feet.
So if you need to store a high amount of goods, you must come with a higher capacity refrigerator and, as a result, need a more powerful and high capacity compressor.
The compressor’s capacity refers to the cooling capacity or refrigeration capacity of the compressor within the refrigerator, measured in terms of the amount of heat energy that the compressor can remove from the refrigerator’s interior per unit of time.
It is called British Thermal Units per hour (Btu/hr) or Watts (W).
The compressor’s capacity should be sufficient to handle the cooling demands associated with the desired temperature range of your refrigerator.
Determine the Size:
Along with the compressor’s cooling capacity, the compressor’s size also can affect other factors like space, noise level, cost, etc.
Though a compressor size refers to the physical dimensions of the compressor unit and is mainly considered for installation and space requirements, but also affects the capacity, refrigerant circulation, efficiency, reduction of noise, and cost.
A larger compressor can circulate more refrigerant throughout the refrigeration or HVACR system due to its’ larger displacement capacity the compressor.
An increased refrigerant circulation can improve the overall efficiency of the cooling or refrigeration process as more refrigerant flow can lead to fast heat exchange, which is beneficial for maintaining the desired temperature inside the system.
A larger compressor operated at a slower speed, can contribute to quieter operation.
It’s necessary to match the size with the compressor’s capacity as the undersized compressor cannot meet the cooling requirements of the system and struggles to maintain desired temperature.
This can lead to poor performance and reduced energy efficiency.
On the other hand, the oversized compressor is too powerful for the cooling requirements of the system, which cools the space too quickly and then shuts off.
This rapid on-and-off or the short cycling and the high running speed can be inefficient and cause noise disturbances and temperature fluctuations.
Finally, the larger the compressor’s size, the more expensive it is.
So if you are looking for a less expensive compressor unit, you can choose a small-sized compressor unit making sure it goes with your compressor’s capacity avoiding undersized or oversized.
The Types of Refrigerant, Required Voltage, and Frequency
What are the other factors need to know when selecting a new compressor?
After compressor capacity and size, you also need to know which expansion device the compressor is using, evaporating range, motor’s efficiency, horsepower, equipment wall thickness, insulation, noise level, input voltage, refrigerant type, on/off fixed speed or variable speed, etc.
But how to know a compressor’s specification and this information?
The answer is simply understanding the compressor level and nomenclature.
So it helps you match a new compressor with your old compressor unit, or look for other alternative options for a compressor while searching to buy a new compressor for the first time.
Evaluate the Cost:
Comparing different alternatives’ prices is a wise approach before any big investment, and when it comes to selecting a compressor for your refrigeration system, it’s more important.
So when it comes to the cost of the compressor unit, your aim should be looking for the most economical and good quality compressor unit balancing with your application’s requirements.
Otherwise, you may end up replacing your newly installed compressor again.
After you find several similar model compressors, know which one has the highest energy efficiency, energy-saving advanced technology, less operating cost, and less possibility of repairing and maintenance along with the most affordable cost.
Some suppliers just provide you with the compressor unit and get released from the responsibility.
So to get the highest value for your money, look for a supplier that offers a warranty, terms of warranty, availability of spare parts, whether the warranty covers spare parts of the compressor, etc.
Still Confused? Consult with Professional:
After all of this research if you are still unsure whether a specific compressor is suitable for you, you also can talk with our HUBHVACR-friendly & professional experts to find any compressor that matches your application properly, HUBHVACR professionals are always on your side.
We will take you to the more flexible option, and familiarize yourself with the exact compressor you need by specific information. Contact us now.