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4 Key Benefits of Rotary-Screw Compressors

Air Conditioner Compressor
Commercial air conditioning systems have to deal with much greater cooling loads than residential systems. The reciprocating compressors used to pressurize gaseous refrigerant in a residential system simply can't handle the demands of a commercial system. Instead, most commercial HVAC set-ups utilize rotary compressors.
If your business struggles to get cool, consider getting a rotary-screw system. This article takes a closer look at four key benefits of rotary-screw compressors.

1. Greater Cooling Capacity

As noted above, most residential air conditioning systems pressurize their refrigerant using reciprocating compressors. Compared to residential buildings, however, commercial properties tend to have much greater cooling needs, as measured in tons. Reciprocating compressors simply can't handle such cooling demands in an efficient manner.  
Smaller commercial buildings may be able to get by with a vane or scroll compressor. The design of such compressors allows them to deliver excellent results for cooling demands between 5 and 20 tons. Yet the more intensive cooling needs of restaurants and larger commercial properties like office buildings can best be met with a rotary-screw compressor.
Rotary-screw compressors can be designed to accommodate cooling systems with capacities as great as 750 tons. Be aware, however, that a rotary-screw compressor won't be able to deliver effective results for buildings whose cooling demands fall below 20 tons.

2. Higher Efficiency

As its name implies, the central features of rotary-screw compressors are screw-like rotors that spin inside of a sealed chamber. The most basic type of rotary-screw compressor contains just a single rotor. However, more efficient compression can be achieved by units with two rotors - compressors commonly referred to as twin-screw compressors.
This design allows a rotary screw to integrate sophisticated capacity control systems known as variable displacement systems. A variable displacement system allows the compression chamber's length to be altered, thus allowing the compressor to achieve a wide range of output pressures. Altered output pressures allow the compressor to respond to cooling needs in a more efficient manner.
Alternately, rotary-screw compressors may be equipped with variable speed drives. Such drives allow the compressor to alter the speed at which its rotors spin. Less aggressive rotor speeds allow the compressor to meet more modest cooling needs with a minimal amount of energy consumption, thus keeping operating costs as low as possible.

3. Simple Design

The two screws inside of a rotary-screw compressor sit side by side in such a way that their threaded portions interlock, and they spin in opposite directions. This creates a suction force that draws refrigerant into the compressor through the suction port located at one end. This refrigerant then moves into the gap between the threads of the two rotors.
This elegant design not only allows for effective compression, it also reduces the number of valves, mechanisms, and moving parts. Simply put, a rotary-screw compressor contains far fewer components than other compressor types. As a result, breakdowns tend to occur less frequently. And when they do, the simple design makes it easier to complete repairs quickly.

4. Quiet Operation

Rotary-screw compressors tend to create less noise - and fewer vibrations - than other types of compressors. A rotary-screw compressor contains special bearings used to absorb vibrations. Therefore, excessive vibrations or noises only occur in the case of a compressor suffering from some sort of mechanical breakdown.
This aspect of rotary-screw compressors makes them especially appealing to businesses concerned with minimizing intrusive noises. Restaurants, spas, and other service-oriented businesses can promote a much more peaceful indoor environment by selecting a rotary-screw compressor.
Those who own or manage commercial properties should have at least a basic working knowledge of different air conditioner compressor types. For more information about what type of compressor can best suit your building's needs, contact Orlando's HVAC pros at Action Air of Florida.

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