A reciprocating compressor is a type of air compressor that is commonly used in industrial operations. This type of compressor is classified as a positive displacement compressor. This means that its operation involves forcing air into a chamber and then decreasing the volume of the chamber so that the pressure of the air it contains is increased.
The following are a few important reasons why the reciprocating compressor is commonly chosen in industrial facilities over other types of compressor such as vane compressors and centrifugal compressors:
When used in gas or oil operations, they typically require less maintenance than other compressor types.
The simplicity of the mechanism that allows reciprocating compressors to compress air makes malfunctions less likely.
In particular, negative displacement compressors tend to require more maintenance than reciprocating compressors. Negative displacement compressor operation requires kinetic energy to be converted to pressure energy in a complex process that requires a complicated spinning impeller component to operate properly.
They provide continuous flow.
The fact that reciprocating compressors offer continuous flow is a huge advantage when it comes to industrial operations. Continuous flow capabilities maximize the productivity of the equipment and prevent downtime from putting a dent in a company's bottom line.
When a reciprocating compressor operates, there is constantly air trapped between the uppermost portion of the cylinder and the piston crown. This means that continuous flow is possible thanks to the fact that the piston will never deliver the clearance volume of the cylinder.
They offer a combination of high pressure and power.
Reciprocating air compressors can come in either single-stage or two-stage models. Two-stage models are able to offer high pressures that can reach up to 250 psig and a high power level that can reach up to 50 horsepower. The availability of two-stage models in reciprocating air compressor design makes it so that this type of air compressor can attain very high pressures and power levels simultaneously.
They don't experience oil carry over.
Oil carry over is a common problem in compressed air systems. It is a common problem in rotary screw compressors, and it is frequently caused by a high oil level or excessively cold operating temperatures.
However, even when factors are present in reciprocating compress operation, oil carry over is not a significant issue. Oil carry over in reciprocating compressors is rendered inconsequential thanks to the fact that the mechanism that compresses air in a reciprocating compressor's chamber is not impacted by temperature or oil level.
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