A scroll compressor is a uniquely designed device that compresses gas through internal compression using two inter-fitting scrolls. During the last fifty years, scroll technology for air conditioning and refrigeration compressors has advanced remarkably.
Nowadays, the scroll compressor is becoming more popular, and the market size is estimated to be over 3.5 billion by 2026! Why is it so?
This article will give you insight into why the scroll compressor is a better choice compared to the traditional compressors.
A scroll compressor is better than its alternatives in several ways. It offers greater efficiency, energy-saving, enhanced durability, superior reliability, oil-free design, and quiet operation.
Due to having fewer parts, scroll compressors are also less prone to mechanical failure, hence require minimal maintenance.
Now you must be wondering how the scroll compressors actually offer so many benefits! Let’s discuss the advantages of scroll compressors in detail.
Advantages of Scroll Compressors
The scroll compressor has a compact, yet a brilliant design that can cool a large amount of air much faster than most other compressors. Its higher efficiency and cooling capacity make it a great option to use even in refrigerators!
Don’t just take my word for it! Let’s look at some research statistics:
- Across the full range of speeds, the volumetric efficiency of the scroll compressor can range from 89% to 94%. This means the efficiency of the scroll compressor to compress gas is much higher than the reciprocating compressor (58%-66%).
- A report shows that a scroll compressor with optimum dimensions can have mechanical efficiency similar to a rotary compressor. When the operating speed increases, the efficacy may reduce, still the scroll compressor performs better than the rotary compressor.
- A study reports that the power consumption is 25.3% lower for scroll compressors compared to the reciprocating type. Note that the cooling capacity was still 5% higher for the scroll compressor!
As mentioned earlier, the scroll compressor’s ability to modulate capacity as necessary can save energy. The internal construction as well as the compression mechanism also contributes to lower power consumption.
As they have fewer moving parts, they are more energy-efficient!
A scroll compressor can reduce the consumption of electricity up to 30% compared to conventional compressors. If you consider your summer utility cost, that saves you a lot of money!
Scroll compressors offer various designs and a wide range of operations. They can be either single-stage, two-stage, or variable capacity units.
- Single-stage units are simple, inexpensive, and operates at only one speed. They run at full blast and usually used for cooling or heating homes efficiently.
- Two-stage units can operate at two levels of speed: high and low. Depending on the need of the house, they can either run at full capacity or a more efficient speed. This function helps to remove excess humidity in the atmosphere and also saves energy.
- Variable-capacity compressors offer excellent control over the temperature and humidity of the indoor air. They run continuously and blow cold air at a steady stream. The modulation of capacity based on the necessity ensures efficient dehumidification, better air quality, and low utility cost.
Moreover, scroll compressors can perform well in both high and low duty cycles. On the contrary, reciprocating or rotary screw compressors work well at specific duty cycles.
So you can see, scroll compressors give you better flexibility to choose options for exactly what your application demands.
Superior Reliability and Durability
Scroll compressors basically have two moving parts: a fixed scroll and an orbital scroll. Because of having fewer moving parts, there are fewer chances of failure. Therefore, the reliability for scroll compressors is significantly higher than that of reciprocating compressors.
Due to orbital motion in scroll compressors, the rubbing velocity is 30%-50% less than piston rings or vane type. Thus it ensures enhanced durability of the compressor.
Consequently, scroll compressors are very low-maintenance, which saves your maintenance cost over the lifetime of its service.
Scroll compressors have a rotary spiral design. As the scrolls don’t need to touch, hence no lubrication is required. Therefore scroll compressors can offer you a 100% oil-free operation.
Hence, there is still a chance of oil seepage through the seals, causing contamination. On the other hand, scroll compressors completely exclude the need for lubrication.
So, there is no hassle of an oil change or oil-filter change. As a result, the maintenance cost reduces further for you!
Nonetheless, oil-lubricated scroll compressors are also there, which offers an affordable option and suitable for heavy-duty applications.
Due to its unique design and operating principle, the scroll compressor has less torque variation, and the operation is vibration-free, smooth, and exceptionally quiet.
Although other compressors could be made noise-free by installing a sound-proof enclosure, scroll compressors provide the facility without any additional cost.
Apart from home appliances, scroll compressors have a wide range of commercial and industrial application, as below:
- Food and fruit refrigeration
- Marine containers
- Medical and hospitals
- Computer peripherals
- Optical equipment
- Pneumatic controls
- Automotive air conditioning
- Vacuum pump
- Superchargers for reciprocating engines etc.
Hope you had an overall idea about the benefits of the scroll compressor from what we discussed. Choosing the scroll compressor is definitely a smart decision to make your life more comfortable and hassle-free.
How does a scroll compressor work?
A scroll compressor has two interleaving spiral scrolls, one of which is stationary and the other orbits eccentrically to trap and compress the gas. Check out this video to have a clear idea about the operation.
Is the scroll compressor expensive?
The scroll compressors are relatively expensive than conventional compressors.
However, considering the energy efficiency, outstanding reliability, and negligible maintenance cost, the compressor is worth the price.
Does the scroll compressor run hotter?
The scroll compressor can get pretty hot due to its extensive cooling capacity. You will most likely not even realize it unless there is an additional problem with the condensing unit.
For example. malfunction of the fan or accumulation of debris in the coil may lead to rapid cycling and overheating.
Can the scroll compressor be repaired?
Because of the complicated geometry of the scroll, scroll compressors are comparatively harder to repair. As the manufacturing cost is low, replacing the unit is often more cost-efficient than repairing.
Nonetheless, considering the excellent reliability and durability, scroll compressors last much longer than conventional compressors and much unlikely to fail.