Advantages, Disadvantages and Applications of Different Types of Compressors

Advantages, Disadvantages ,Types and Application of Compressors

1. Piston or reciprocating compressor: This type of positive displacement compressor uses the piston and cylinder for compressing the gases.

Fig.1: 1. Piston or reciprocating compressor

 

It can consist of single cylinder or multiple cylinders (multi stages).

Advantages:

  • High power (more than 500 hp) and high pressure (more than 400 bar) compressed gas can be produced.
  • Initial investment requirement is less.
  • Oil carryover problem is not present.

Disadvantages:

  • Reciprocation of the cylinder causes vibrations.
  • Maintenance cost is high due to lots of moving parts.

Applications:

  • Used for compressing widest range of gases like: CNG, nitrogen, air, inert gas, breathing air.
  • Starting the IC engines.
  • High pressure application like air blast.

 

 

2. Rotary Screw Compressors: The male and female rotating (in opposite direction) mating screws are used in this types of positive displacement compressor.

Fig.2: Rotary Screw Compressors

 

 

Image source: Wiki

 

Advantages:

  • Vibrations are very less.
  • Small size compressor can produced high flow rate.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for dirty environments.
  • Life expectancy is short.
  • Oil carryover problem is present.

Applications:

  • Suitable for high power (more than 500 hp) large flow rate but medium pressure (around 15 bars) dust free applications.
  • Most popular in industry find application in food processing, brewing, manufacturing, instrument operation, hospital.

 

 

3. Rotary Sliding Vane Compressor: This is another positive displacement one, uses sliding vanes surrounding the eccentrically rotating impeller for compressing.

Fig.3: Rotary Sliding Vane Compressor

 

Image source: wiki

 

 

Advantages:

  • Low maintenance due to lower rotating speed and fewer moving parts.
  • Suitable for dirty operating environments.

Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for high pressure application.
  • Oil carryover problem is present.

Applications:

  • Suitable for low pressure (around 1 bar) applications.
  • Can work in dirty environments.
  • Used in robotics, pneumatics, labs.

 

 

4. Centrifugal Compressor: This is dynamic types of compressor. Velocity of the impeller is used for generating energy of compression in this case.

Fig.4: Centrifugal Compressor

 

Image source: Wiki

 

Advantages:

  • Suitable for continuous compressed air supply.
  • High power (up to 500 hp) high pressure (up to 85 bar) compression is possible.
  • Oil free air output.

Disadvantages:

  • The equipment is costly.
  • High speed requires quality bearing and sophisticated maintenance programs.

Applications:

  • HVAC and air conditioning applications.
  • Gas turbines.
  • Turbo chargers.
  • Natural gas processing and in oil refineries.

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2 thoughts on “Advantages, Disadvantages and Applications of Different Types of Compressors

  1. Hi Suvo concerning the vane compressor , your explanation is old and not accuarate anymore. Send me your email adress an I passes you the new developments.

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