If you have ever wondered how air conditioners cool the air in an apartment or in a large shopping mall, you might be better off chalking it up to magic. In all seriousness, the process behind a cooling system requires years of intense studying in order to thoroughly understand it. Most cooling systems, whether large or small, utilize a cycle called vapor compression. A key element in the vapor compression cycle is the chiller compressor. Without this, air conditioning would not work as we know it. The chiller compressors work to move the coolant throughout the series of ducts or pipes. It is also the chiller compressors that compress the coolant, which helps the coolant absorb heat.
The two main categories of chiller compressors are called positive displacement and dynamic. Within these two categories of units are four basic types. The four types of chiller compressors work equally well but in varying circumstances.
Positive displacement is the first category we are going to discuss, function by compressing the gas refrigerant. The positive displacement can then work with a small but powerful quantity of refrigerant. Then the positive displacement pumps the refrigerant at a regular speed without stopping.
On the other hand, dynamic chiller compressors do not pump the refrigerant at a regular speed. Dynamic utilize fans which increase or decrease the pressure behind the refrigerant.
Some examples of positive displacement include reciprocating and scroll chiller compressors. One example of a dynamic is the centrifugal unit.
In the reciprocating unit, which is a positive displacement, a piston undulates inside a cylinder. As the piston shifts in the downward motion, the refrigerant fills in on top of it. As the piston moves in the opposite direction, the refrigerant compresses until it is very small and increasingly full of pressure. The compressed refrigerant then breaks out of the cylinder in compressed form. Reciprocating units have an advantage in hair chalking smaller operations because they cost less while remaining efficient and relatively simple to maintain and repair. However, reciprocating unit only function in smaller operations.
One of the basic types of dynamic compressors is the centrifugal chiller compressors. Centrifugal units use a propeller to draw in the refrigerant before trapping it and eventually compressing it. Usually centrifugal unit are only used for a larger-scale range of air conditioning jobs. This is the benefit of the centrifugal units which do not work well in a lower capacity.
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