Reciprocating compressors are described along with different parts, types, applications, advantages, disadvantages etc.
Let’s explore Reciprocating compressors!
Let’s try to understand the basics of reciprocating compressors! There are some innovations and phenomena which hold massive value. We can also deduce that some natural attributes should be contained to get the maximum out of them.
Whether it is related to channelizing the force or using fuel for combustion, everything is correlated.
The reciprocating compressors are widely used in,
This is the basic definition of the reciprocating compressor. Here we will provide all the information from top to bottom about the reciprocating compressor.
Let’s start with the core definition or what is a reciprocating compressor all about?
Reciprocating compressors are the compressors that use pistons that are attached inside the cylinder. It is a widely used compressor in various industries.
Lets try to understand the two cycles,
Apart from the above, the reciprocating compressor can also be defined as the machine in which the crankshaft is driven in a reciprocating motion.
The intake gas that comes out from the crankshaft can then be used for different purposes. Mainly these are used for industrial purposes.
The components of a reciprocating compressor can easily be elaborated based on specific groups.
Mainly there are four groups in which every part complies. The following are the brief description of them:
This is the base in which different parts of the compressor are attached.
It is mainly composed of,
The whole movement of the components while getting towards the compression mechanism holds different parts such as,
With these parts reciprocating linear motion is achieved by converting rotary motion.
Compression is the core mechanism that includes different parts of the compressors.
The whole mechanism consists of different parts such as,
These are the different parts of compressor design that hold their importance.
This group of components constitutes,
While understanding the mechanism, it is quite significant to get an idea about the reciprocating compressor’s different parts. These parts will helps us explicitly to understand the whole process of compression. The following are the important parts of the reciprocating compressors:
The compression cylinders are the core part of a reciprocating compressor. These are also known as stages.
As per the design, it can be single or double-acting. In the dual-acting design, the compression takes place on both sides of the piston.
These are special valves that regulate the percent of load carried by the compressor when equipped with the driver’s rotational speed.
Unloaders are used for calibration that controls the suction valves, ultimately allowing the gas to recycle.
The clearance pocket valve changes the cylinder headspace. These are present in the compressor, either fixed or variable volume. An overview of this component will happen to understand the core functioning.
The doghouse is a structural part that connects the cylinder and the compressor frame.
Here it is quite significant to keep a check on the intermixing of fluids between the cylinder and doghouse must be restrained.
Running gear is the compressor that is attached to the frame and contains a crosshead and connecting rod.
The crankshafts are the parts that hold or effectively balance the dynamic forces. These dynamic forces are the product of the movements of the heavy pistons.
One of the major parts that keeps a specific place is the lubrication system. Most of the compressors need proper running gear that is lubricated to get practical and extensive motion.
This system doesn’t only hold the lubrication but also consists of,
The role of suction in reciprocating compressors is vital as all the gases effectively pass through separators and suction strainers.
These are the practical parts that help in providing a capacitance that makes the flow and pressures appropriate.
This is dependent on the compression stroke.
The reciprocating compressors generally are low-speed machinery which can be easily driven by a belt or direct electric motor.
Let’s try to understand the basic thermodynamic cycles of reciprocating compressors. Compressors, as the name suggests, incurs compression. This compression happens in the cylinder. There are total four cycles,
In this thermodynamic cycle, each cycle has two strokes.
See below P-V Diagram for the graphical representations.
In the initial stage, the piston is at point1, and the volume, pressure, and temperature is V1, P1 & T1 respectively and suction and discharge valves are closed at that time.
Now piston advances towards opposites (that is from top dead center to bottom dead center) and it compresses the air or gas inside the cylinder.
There is a clearance volume to avert piston/head contact which increase the life of compressors. Point 3 is indicated for that.
After this process, expansion happens a little lower to the suction pressure. This time discharge valve is closed at point 4. The same cycle continues.
The core mechanism of a reciprocating compressor is not that complex. We can understand it through stepwise methods:
These are relatively low-speed devices and run-on electric motors, which a variable speed drive controller calibrates.
Reciprocating compressors are classified based on the two scenarios,
There are two kinds of the same available on the basic use of pistons when it comes to discharge stroke per revolution.
A brief discussion about the same are as follows:
This is one of the most common types of reciprocating compressors available in the market.
Single-acting compressors are pretty effective, but as compared to their counterparts, these are quite expensive. These are specifically used in those places where constant pressure is not required.
This reciprocating compressor is given because it uses both sides of the piston to compress the air.
The vibration generation due to its operation is quite annoying as it needs special mountings that keep it in one place.
Now based on speed or drive mechanism, reciprocating compressors are classified into two catagories,
The applications of these compressors are quite wide. It is used for different purposes in almost every sector.
Here we are providing some of the core application sectors of these compressors:
The use of reciprocating compressors in oil refineries is evident. It is among the most popular sectors that use these compressors. However, almost all the popular industries need it.
In the oil refineries, crude oil is processed, and there are numerous processes attached to this through which useful products such as,
These are produced with the help of a compressor and carry the fluid from one chemical processing unit to another.
The movement of fluid and using these reciprocating compressors in the pipeline is quite popular.
Nowadays, we are also using pneumatic tubes that are capable of transporting solid also.
Another prominent sector that uses reciprocating compressors is a chemical plant. Those plants which process any chemical on a large scale always used reciprocating compressors.
There are several benefits of reciprocating compressors. Some of them are compiled as follows:
The drawbacks of reciprocating compressors are pretty abundant, and the following are some of them:
While selecting an adequate compressor, one should keep a check on some effective parameters.
These parameters are pretty critical and should be considered at any cost.
The components of compressors are the significant aspect that helps in selecting an appropriate one.
While selecting these compressors, one should keep a check on quality components as it reduces the While maintenance costs.
While choosing a compressor, look for less expensive parts and a simplistic design.
Pressure is one of the most important factors that has practical advantages. After all, a compressor’s primary purpose is to formulate the pressure and compress the gas or liquid.
When it comes to selecting the compressor, the buyer should keep a check on cost. The initial cost associated with the compressor is a prominent factor.
The heat dissipation by the compressor is a prominent factor. While operating the compressor, heat dissipation affects the durability as well as longevity of the machinery.
Some compressors produce heavy vibrations and noise. Where there is a need for continuous communication, the compressor with low noise is preferred.
Reciprocating compressors are different from rotary compressors. Do you want to know the differences between them?
|Reciprocating Compressors||Rotary Compressors|
|Reciprocating compressor has piston arrangement and works based on the reciprocating motion of piston.||Rotary compressor has no piston arrangement and works based on the rolling action.|
|To generate very high delivery pressure (1000 bar), this types of compressors are used.||To generate low delivery pressure (10 bar), this types of compressors are used.|
|Pressure ratio is high.||Pressure ratio is low.|
|Main application is low volume flow rate with high pressure.||Main application is large volume flow rate with low pressure.|
|Complex design & high space requirement.||Simple design & low space requirement.|
|Free air delivery is less comparative (300 m3/min) to rotary compressor||Free air delivery is high comparative (3000 m3/min) to reciprocating compressor|
|It operates at low rotational speed.||It operates at very high rotational speed.|
|Due to presence of unbalanced forces, this compressor is difficult to balance.||No balancing problems|
|Lubrication process is complex and air comes in contact with lubrication oil.||Lubrication process is simple and air doesn’t come in contact with lubrication oil.|
|Noise & vibration is high||Noise & vibration is less|
|Efficiency is high, as compression ratio is high.||Efficiency is low comparative to reciprocating compressor, as compression ratio is low.|
|Initial cost is high.||Initial cost is low.|
|High maintenance due to many rotating parts||Low maintenance due to lower numbers of rotating parts|
|Air is internment due to reciprocating action.||Air is continuous due to rotary action.|
|Works based on complete Brayton cycle.||It works only in one step of Rankine cycle.|
There are a few design codes and standards available for the design of reciprocating compressors, as follows:
There are so many manufacturers available for reciprocating compressors, few of them are listed,
With the holistic knowledge of reciprocating compressors, it is pretty easy to select the effective one. This article holds all the information, such as the core definition and the definition of its type. With this, you can get an overview of one of the efficient kinds of compressors.
In addition to all the information, the credible benefits will help you to get the perspective clear. We have also provided some of the parameters that are pretty effective for selecting an appropriate compressor as per the need.
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