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About Rotary Screw Compressors

How Rotary Screw Compressors Work

    • Two intermeshing rotors in a housing having an inlet port at one end and a discharge port at the other end
    • Most Rotary Screw units are single stage
    • Motors run continuously. The inlet port is closed when the desired PSI is achieved and opens again as needed
    • Lubricant injected into the compression chamber serves three functions:
      • Lubricates the intermeshing rotors and bearings
      • Removes most of the heat
      • Acts as a seal in the clearances between the meshing rotors and housing
    • Air exiting the rotors passes through a sump/separator. Directional and velocity changes are used to separate most of the liquid.
    • The remaining aerosols in the air are separated by a Coalescing Filter, resulting in generally 2-5 parts per million of lubricant carryovers
    • Lubricant (carrying much of the heat from air compressing) passes through the cooler before returning to the rotators

Additional Notes

  • Rule of thumb: every 1 HP produces 4 CFM
  • Advantages:
    • Duty cycle can be 100% (80% minimum, designed for continuous use)
    • Quiet
    • Lower cost of compressed air (energy cost)
    • Complete package: air is cooled, filtered through a Coalescing Filter, vibration free
  • Disadvantages:
    • Higher initial cost
    • Requires professional maintenance

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