Reciprocating Compressors

Presented By : Mohamed Maher Presented to : Dr.Mohamed Gamal Wasel

• • • • • Introduction What is a reciprocating compressor? How reciprocating compressors works? Components Controlling Discharge Pressure


Fig.1 . • Shown in a (Fig.1) Is a Typical Industrial Reciprocating compressor.Definition • A Compressor is a device that compresses gas or air to increases pressure leading to reduction of volume.

Classification • Two Main Classification of compressors : Positive Displacement Continuous Flow Reciprocating Rotary Centrifugal Axial .

000 psi ( In extreme cases) . Transport natural gas through pipelines. 5. 4.Applications 1. Moving heat in refrigeration systems. Providing air for air brakes. 6. Note : Pressure range from 35 psi to 65. 7. Pressurizing air craft cabins. Compressing intake air in gas turbines. 3. Storing purified gases in small volumes. Storing air in submarines. 2.

(Shown In Fig.How it works • Molecules of a certain gas move at high speed striking against the walls of the enclosed vessel producing pressure.2) Figure 2. Confined gas before heating .

3) Figure 3. molecules travel faster thus hitting the walls of the vessel with a greater force . .(Shown In Fig. Constant volume of gas will experience pressure increase when heated. when heat is added to a fixed volume of gas.How it works • Temperature affect molecules speed .

How it works • When a piston is fitted within the vessel . gas is squeezed into smaller space leading in restriction of molecules travel thus increase pressure.4) .(Shown In Fig. • Piston movement also deliver energy to the molecules increasing it speed . along with heating this results in temperature rise & since molecules has been forced into a small area therefore velocity & pressure will increase.

Compression process reduce volume of gas and increase pressure .How it works Figure 4.

Limitations of a compressor • Compression of gases from low to high results in high temperature creating problems in compressor design. . All compressors have a certain design limiting operation condition . resulting in increase of compression process steps which is termed” Multistaging” using one basic machine element designed to operate in series with other elements of the machine.

3. Desirability of saving power. . 4. 2. 5. but the most important limitations includes : 1. Compression ratio.Limitations of a compressor • Limitations vary with the type of compressors . Effect of clearance. Pressure rise or differential. Discharge pressure.

Trap consecutive quantities of gas . two for positive displacement & two for continuous flow. • Positive displacement 1.Methods of compression • There are 4 methods to compress gases . carry it without a volume change to discharge opening . Trap consecutive quantities of gas in some type of enclosure . . 2. reduce volume & increase pressure then push the compressed gas out of the enclosure. compress the gas by backflow from the discharge system then push the compressed gas out of the enclosure.

Compress gas by mechanical action of rapidly rotating impellers or bladed rotors that impart velocity & pressure to the flowing gas. 2. Entrain gas in high velocity jet of the same or different gas ( usually steam) & convert high velocity of the mixture into pressure in a diffuser. .Methods of compression • Continuous flow 1.

Converting Energy • Compressors change mechanical energy into gas energy . some of the energy is converted into non-usable forms such as heat losses. . process change mechanical energy into gas energy . which states that energy can’t be created or destroyed during a process. flow is directly proportional to speed of the compressor & pressure ratio is determined by pressure system into which compressor is pumping. according to the first law of thermodynamics . There are two ways to convert energy: • Positive displacement of gas into a smaller volume .

Velocity energy converted to pressure energy . this velocity is then converted into pressure .5) Figure 5.Converting Energy • Dynamic action imparting velocity to gas . Both flow rate & pressure ratio varies as a function of speed but only within a very limited range & only with properly designed control systems(Shown In Fig.

flow speed is reduced and some of the velocity turns into pressure energy.Converting Energy • Total energy in a flowing air system is constant. Thus static pressure is higher in the enlarged section . Entering an enlarged section.

Types of compressors .Types of compressors Figure 6.

Types of compressors • Positive displacement : units are those in which successive volumes of gas are confined within a closed space and elevated to a higher pressure.7) Figure 7. Positive Displacement . (Shown In Fig.

Rotary positive displacement .8) Figure 8. (Shown In Fig.Types of compressors • Rotary positive displacement compressors are machines in which compression and displacement result from the positive action of rotating elements.

(Shown In Fig. Sliding vane compressors . Gas trapped between vanes is compressed and displaced.Types of compressors • Sliding vane compressors are rotary positive displacement machines in which axial vanes slide radially in a rotor eccentrically mounted in a cylindrical casing.9) Figure 9.

Liquid piston compressors .10) Figure 10. (Shown In Fig.Types of compressors • Liquid piston compressors are rotary positive displacement machines in which water or other liquid is used as the piston to compress and displace the gas handled.

(Shown In Fig.11) Figure 11. There is no internal compression.Types of compressors • Two-impeller straight-lobe compressors are rotary positive displacement machines in which two straight mating lobed impellers trap gas and carry it from intake to discharge. Two-impeller straight-lobe or rotary blower .

each with a helical form. Helical or spiral lobe .Types of compressors • Helical or spiral lobe compressors are rotary positive displacement machines in which two intermeshing rotors. compress and displace the gas. (Shown In Fig.12) Figure 12.

13) . (Shown In Fig. This Occurs partially in the rotating element and partially in stationary diffusers or blades.Types of compressors • Dynamic compressors are rotary continuous-flow machines in which the rapidly rotating element accelerates the gas as it passes through the element. converting the velocity head into pressure.

Figure 13. Dynamic compressors .

Types of compressors • Centrifugal compressors are dynamic machines in which one or more rotating impellers. Main gas flow is radial. (Fig.14) . accelerate the gas. usually shrouded on the sides.

Figure 14. Centrifugal compressor .

Axial compressors .Types of compressors • Axial compressors are dynamic machines in which gas acceleration is obtained by the action of the bladed rotor.(Shown In Fig. Main gas flow is axial.15) Figure 14.

.Types of compressors • Mixed flow compressors are dynamic machines with an impeller form combining some characteristics of both the centrifugal and axial types.

Reciprocating Compressors .

What is a reciprocating compressor ? • The reciprocating compressor is a positive displacement . intermittent-flow machine & it simply operates at fixed volume. Figure 17. Reciprocating Compressor .

 Double Acting Compressor • It is a compressor that completes two discharge strokes per revolution of crankshaft. Most heavy duty compressors are double acting. it also compresses on one side of the piston. it also compresses on both sides of the piston.Reciprocating Compressor Types  Single Acting Compressor • It is a compressor that has one discharge per revolution of crankshaft. .

resulting in pressure increase. double-acting reciprocating compressor in Varrangement . Figure 18. Multistage.Theory of reciprocating compressors • Reciprocating compressors operate by means of a piston in a cylinder as piston moves forward in the cylinder it compresses air or gas into smaller space.

and the other by crosshead pin to the crosshead which. . as the crankshaft turns. and a connecting rod between the two. crosshead.Theory of reciprocating compressors • Rotary motion provided at compressor shaft is converted to linear motion by use of a crankshaft. One end of the connecting rod is secured by the crankpin to the crankshaft. reciprocates in a linear motion.

. the pressure differential between intake pressure and this vacuum across the intake valve then causes the valves to open. The movement of the piston to the top of the cylinder creates a partial vacuum in the lower end of the cylinder. permitting gas to flow in one direction only.Theory of reciprocating compressors • Intake and discharge valves are located in the top and bottom of the cylinder. These are basically check valves. allowing air to flow into the cylinder from the intake line.

permitting air at that pressure to be discharged from the cylinder into the discharge or system line. the discharge valve opens.Theory of reciprocating compressors • On the return stroke. when the pressure in the cylinder exceeds the pressure in the discharge line. .

Construction • Reciprocating Compressors can be divided into two main groups : 1. Gas end 2. Power end .

.Gas End • Parts of the reciprocating compressor that handle process gas.


.Power End • Parts of reciprocating compressor that assist in transferring power and converting rotary motion into reciprocating motion.

most of these component parts have been precision machined with very tight tolerances for proper compressor efficiency & operation.Components • Reciprocating compressors house a large system of moving parts. • A typical reciprocating compressor consists of: .

The bottom of the crankcase serves as the oil reservoir.Crank Case • Crank case supports the crankshaft. . A main pump is placed on the shield mounted on the side opposite the coupling and is driven by compressor. All bearing supports are bored under setup condition to ensure perfect alignment.


The relationship of the pistons.Crankshaft • Transmit circular motion of rods into reciprocating motion for the piston. and crankshaft . rods. Figure 19.

20) Figure 20. Crankshaft being machined in a workshop . In this case the shaft is made of cast iron.(Shown in Fig.Crankshaft • They are normally manufactured of cast iron or soft steel. The crankshaft can be cast (molten metal poured into a mold) into a general shape and machined into the exact size and shape.

and one is on the other end. The bearing on the motor end is normally the largest because it carries the greatest load. .Crankshaft • This machining process is critical because the throw (the off-center part where the rod fastens) does not turn in a circle (in relationship to the center of the shaft) when placed in a lathe. These off-center shafts normally have two main-bearing surfaces in addition to the off-center rod-bearing surfaces: • One is on the motor end of the shaft.

Crankshaft • Some shafts are straight and have a cam-type arrangement called an eccentric. notice in (Fig. This allows the shaft to be manufactured straight and from steel. . The shaft may not be any more durable..18) the rod has to be different for the eccentric shaft because the end of the rod has to fit over the large eccentric on the crankshaft. but it is easier to machine. The eccentrics can be machined off-center to the shaft to accomplish the reciprocating action.

The rods on this shaft have large bottom throws and slide off the end of the shaft. This means that to remove the rods. This crankshaft obtains the off-center action with a straight shaft and an eccentric.Figure 21. The eccentric is much like a cam lobe. the shaft must be taken out of the compressor. .

. such as the rods on both ends. It is then slung to the outside of the crankshaft surface when the compressor runs. Compressors with splash type lubrication systems must usually rotate in only one direction to be properly lubricated.22). The smaller compressors using the splash system may have an oil pan to store oil and cause it to flow down the center of the shaft (Fig. This causes the oil to move to the other parts.Crankshaft • All of these shafts must be lubricated.

A Typical Splash type lubrication system. .Figure 22.

The compressor must be running up to speed before the lubrication system is fully effective.There is no pressure lubrication when the compressor first starts. (Fig. .20) .Crankshaft • Some of the shafts are drilled and lubricated with a pressure lubrication system. These compressors have an oil pump mounted on the end of the crankshaft that turns with the crankshaft.

A crankshaft drilled for the oil pump to force the oil up the shaft to the rods. . Magnetic elements are sometimes placed along the passage to capture iron filings.Figure 23. then up the rods to the wrist pins.

If the crankshaft is connected directly to the motor and the motor is running at 3450 rpm.24) . These rods are normally made in two styles: the type to fit the crankshaft with off-center throws and the type to fit the eccentric crankshaft . Rods can be made of several different metals such as iron. The rods with the large holes in the shaft end are for eccentric shafts. They cannot be taken off with the shaft in place. The rod design is important because it takes a lot of the load in the compressor. The rod is the connection between this piston and the crankshaft and is the link between this changing of direction. the piston at the top of the rod is changing directions 6900 times per minute. (Fig. and aluminum. The shaft has to be removed to take the piston out of the cylinder.Connecting Rods • Connecting rods connect the crankshaft to the piston. brass.

Rods being removed .Figure 24.

are split. these rods can be separated at the crankshaft. The rod normally has a connector called a wrist pin that slips through the piston and the upper end of the rod. The rod is small on the piston end and fastens to the piston by a different method. and have rod bolts. This almost always has a snap ring to keep the wrist pin from sliding against the cylinder wall.25) .Connecting Rods • The rods with the smaller holes are for the off-center shafts. (Fig. and the rod and piston can be removed with the crankshaft in place.

Figure 25. The wrist pin holds the rod to the piston while allowing the pivot action that takes place at the top of the stroke. The end of the rod that fits into the piston. . The wrist pin is held secure in the piston with snap rings.

Piston rings like those used in automobile engines are used on the larger pistons. . These rings are of two types: compression and oil. They have to slide up and down in the cylinder in order to pump.26. They must have some method of preventing the high-pressure gas from slipping by to the crankcase. A crosssectional view of these rings can be seen in Fig.The Piston • The piston is the part of the cylinder assembly exposed to the high-pressure gas during compression. Pistons have high pressure gas on top and suction or low-pressure gas on the bottom during the upstroke. The smaller compressors use the oil on the cylinder walls as the seal.

The piston rings for a refrigeration compressor resemble the rings used on automobile pistons .Figure 26.

. wear is usually greater at the bottom of a horizontal cylinder.Cylinder & Liner • Piston reciprocates inside a cylinder. the cylinder may be fitted with a liner or sleeve. Because of the weight of the piston. To provide for reduced reconditioning cost. A cylinder liner is usually counter bored near the ends of the outer ring travel. A cylinder or liner usually wears at the points where the piston rings rub against it.

Refrigerant cylinder valves • The valves in the top of the compressor determine the direction in which the gas entering the compressor will flow.27. The two styles that make up the majority of the valves on the market are the ring valve and the flapper (reed) valve. A cutaway of a compressor cylinder is shown in Fig. They serve both the suction and the discharge ports of the compressor.These valves are made of very hard steel. .

causing valve closing o determines the valve lift.• • • Counter seat Rings Main Components of valves o limits the lift and contains the springs o withstands the differential pressure. nut & pin . ensuring gas seal o acts on the rings. o fasten all the components together Spring • • Shim Stud bolt.

This cutaway of a compressor shows a typical cylinder. .Figure 27.

Each manufacturer has its own design.28. Flapper valves have been made in many different shapes.29. Fig.Refrigerant cylinder valves • The ring valve is made in a circle with springs under it.Fig. the larger one will be the suction valve. If ring valves are used for the suction and the discharge. • .

(B)– (D) They normally have a set of small springs to close them. (A) Ring valves. .Figure 28.

Figure 29. Reed or flapper valves held down on one end. . This provides enough spring action to close the valve when reverse flow occurs.

It is located between the head of the compressor and the top of the cylinder wall. Fig. This makes the compressor less efficient.The Valve Plate • The valve plate holds the suction and discharge flapper valves. . The bottom of the plate actually protrudes into the cylinder. Any volume of gas that cannot be pumped out of the cylinder because of the valve design will re-expand on the down stroke of the piston.30. Many different methods have been used to hold the valves in place without taking up any more space than necessary.

They can be replaced or rebuilt if not badly damaged.Figure 30. There is a gasket on both sides. . Valve plates typical of those used to hold the valves.

Poppet Valve
• These are separate, round poppets to seat against holes in the valve seats. Poppets are made of low friction material (e.g. Bakelite), they provide a low-pressure drop and are often used when ratios of compression are low and also for high flow rates.

Channel Valve
• These valves use channel shaped plates instead of flat plates. Above each channel is a bowed, steel tension spring. Spring pushes from the stop plate and channels cover the slots in the valve seat.


The Head of the compressor
• The component that holds the top of the cylinder and its assembly together is the head. It sets on top of the cylinder and contains the high-pressure gas from the cylinder until it moves into the discharge line. It often contains the suction chamber, separated from the discharge chamber by a partition and gaskets. These heads have many different design configurations and need to accomplish two things. They hold the pressure in and hold the valve plate on the cylinder. They are made of steel in some welded hermetic compressors and of cast iron in a serviceable hermetic type. The cast iron heads may be in the moving airstream and have fins on them to help dissipate the heat from the top of the cylinder, Fig.31.

Figure 31. Typical compressor heads. (A) A suction cooled compressor. (B) Air-cooled compressors that have air-cooled motors must be located in a moving airstream, or overheating will occur.

A compressor muffler.Mufflers • Mufflers are used in to muffle compressor pulsation noise. Fig. Figure 32. Audible suction and discharge pulsations can be transmitted into the piping if they are not muffled.32. .

It is made of stamped steel for the welded hermetic and of cast iron for the serviceable hermetic.The Compressor Housing • The housing holds the compressor and sometimes the motor. The welded hermetic compressor is designed so the compressor shell is under low-side pressure and will often have a working pressure of 150 psig. .

and the discharge line is normally piped to the outside of the shell. A cutaway of a hermetic compressor inside a welded shell and the method used to weld the shell together are shown in Fig. . 27.The Compressor Housing • The compressor is mounted inside the shell.

Fig. The springs were supposed to be loosened when installed.29. . Rigidmounted compressors were used for many years. The compressor shell was mounted on external springs that had to be bolted tightly for shipment.The Compressor Housing • Two methods are used to mount the compressor inside the shell: rigid mount and spring mount.

Figure 33. This bolt must be loosened by the installing contractor. . This compressor is shipped with a bolt tightened down through the springs. A compressor motor pressed into its steel shell. The compressor has springs under the mounting feet to help eliminate vibration. It requires experience to remove the motor.

without the springs. it was mounted rigidly to the condenser Casing. especially where there is a lot of salt in the air. • . When this happens. and the compressor vibrated because. the compressor will normally run and pump just like it is supposed to but will make a noise on start-up or shutdown or both. Fig. These Compressors have methods of keeping the compressor from moving too much during shipment. External springs can also rust.The Compressor Housing • Occasionally they were not.34. The internal spring-mounted compressors actually suspend the compressor from springs inside the shell. If the compressor comes off the springs and they are internal. there is nothing that can be done to repair it in the field. Sometimes a compressor will come loose from one or two of the internal springs.

A compressor mounted inside the welded hermetic shell on springs. .Figure 34. The springs have guides that only allow them to move a certain amount during shipment.

When a hermetic motor malfunctions. The materials used in a hermetic motor are not the same materials that would be used in a fan or pump motor that would run in air.Compressor Motor in a refrigerant atmosphere • The compressor motor operating inside the refrigerant atmosphere must have special consideration. Motors for hermetic compressors differ from standard electric motors. Hermetic motors must be manufactured of materials compatible with the system refrigerants. rubber cannot be used because the refrigerant would dissolve it. The motors are assembled in a very clean atmosphere and kept dry. For instance. . it cannot be repaired in the field.

Motor Electrical Terminals • There must be some conductor to carry the power from the external power supply to the internal motor. The power to operate the compressor must be carried through the compressor housing without the refrigerant leaking.35. Fig. These terminals are sometimes fused glass with a terminal stud through the middle on the smaller compressors. When large terminals are required. the terminals are sometimes placed in a fiber block with an O ring–type seal. . The connection also has to insulate the electric current from the compressor shell.

The power to operate the compressor is carried through the compressor shell but must be insulated from the shell. Motor terminals. . This is a fiber block used as the insulator.Figure 35. O rings keep the refrigerant in.

The fused-glass type will stand more heat. Less heat can be tolerated with the O ring and fiber type of terminal board. it would be hard to repair. Should the terminal overheat. . they can be replaced with new parts. If the terminal block is a fused-glass type. a leak could occur. However. but there is a limit to how much heat it can take. When the O ring and fiber board are damaged. refrigerant loss can result before the problem is discovered.Motor Electrical Terminals • Care must be taken with these terminals (due to loose electrical connections) to prevent overheating.

. Because it is internal and carries the line current.37 illustrates a three-phase internal thermal overload. One style breaks the line circuit inside the compressor. usually in the motor barrel compartment over the motor windings. it is limited to smaller compressors. All three of the overload contacts will open at the same time if a motor overheating problem occurs. These devices are embedded in or near the windings and are wired in two different ways. the compressor cannot be restarted.Fig.Fig. This overload device is located in the compressor’s shell. It has to be enclosed to prevent the electrical arc from affecting the refrigerant. Fig.Internal Motor Protection devices • They protect the motor from overheating.Fig.38 is a photo of a three-phase overload protector taken out of a working three-phase motor.36. If a contact in this line type remains open.38. The compressor would have to be replaced. This prevents single phasing of the three-phase motor.

they are contained inside a hermetic container of their own. .Figure 36. If the electrical arc were allowed inside the refrigerant atmosphere. Because this set of electrical contacts is inside the refrigerant atmosphere. the refrigerant would deteriorate in the vicinity of the arc. An internal compressor overload protection device that breaks the line circuit.

Figure 37. . A three-phase wye wound motor with internal thermal overload protection. All three internal overload contacts will open at the same time to prevent single phasing of the three-phase motor.

. A three-phase internal overload protector.Figure 38.

Internal Motor Protection devices • Shown Is a wiring diagram of a typical electronic motor protection package showing the motor contactor and electronic protection module. This is wired from the outside of the compressor to the control circuit . Another type of motor overload protection device breaks the control circuit.

Figure 40. . The wiring diagram of a typical electronic three-phase motor protection package.

The motor protection module controls the coil of the contactor or motor starter and can turn the motor off when necessary for a cool-down period. change resistance. The thermistor circuit is usually a 24-V control circuit. the thermistors will sense the heat. If a motor overheating problem occurs.Fig.Internal Motor Protection devices • Shown a three-phase motor with internal thermistor protection. Thermistors are resistors that vary their resistance according to their temperature.38. and relay this change in resistance to a solid-state motor protection module. .

Figure 39. A three-phase wye wound motor with internal thermistor protection linked to solid-state electronic motor protection module. . The motor sensors are thermistors.

41. and the compressor must be externally mounted on springs or other flexible mounts to prevent vibration. . the discharge gas is contained either under the head or out the discharge line. Because of the piping arrangement in the head. The serviceable hermetic is used exclusively in larger compressor sizes because it can be rebuilt. The motor is rigidly mounted to the shell.The serviceable Hermetic Compressor • The serviceable hermetic normally has a cast-iron shell and is considered a low-side device. Fig.

Figure 41. (B) . Serviceable hermetic compressors. (A) Courtesy Trane Company.

The shaft protrudes through the casing to the outside where either a pulley or a coupling is attached. The motor is either mounted end to end with the compressor shaft or beside the compressor and belts used to turn the compressor. This compressor is normally heavy duty in nature. .Open-Drive Compressor • Open-drive compressors are manufactured with the motor external to the compressor shell. It must be mounted tightly to a foundation.

the atmosphere would enter the crankcase. the crankcase pressure could easily be in a vacuum. If the unit were an extra-low-temperature unit using R-12 as the refrigerant.The Seal Shaft • The pressure inside the compressor crankcase can be either in a vacuum (below atmosphere) or a positive pressure. If the shaft seal were to leak. When the compressor is setting still. the crankcase pressure may go over 200 psig. • . it could have a high positive pressure on it. The crankcase shaft seal must be able to hold refrigerant inside the compressor under all of these conditions and while the shaft is turning at high speed.42. Fig.

If the seal is installed on a belt-drive compressor. . the shaft alignment is important.Figure 42. If it is installed on a direct-drive compressor. This seal must be installed correctly. the belt tension is important. The shaft seal is responsible for keeping the refrigerant inside the crankcase and allowing the shaft to turn at high speed.

If assembled correctly. This surface is normally a carbon or ceramic material rubbing against a steel surface. these two surfaces can rub together for years and not wear out. .The Seal Shaft • The shaft seal has a rubbing surface to keep the refrigerant and the atmosphere separated.

thus reducing power require & providing maximum economy during the unloading period. . Then the compressor operate against the atmospheric pressure only.How to control Pressure • Pressure regulation is done by the use of free air loading. when this happened air from the discharge line passes to the unloader and then to the unloading suction valve covers that is holding the valves open. • when pressure in the discharge line reaches a point where the unloader is set to operate the plate valve is forced away from it's seat on the unloader body . but now it can be done by PLC . • this control was done manual by unloaders such as “m” or “w” type . The purpose of this control is to unload the air compressor when more air is compressed than being consumed.

Thank You .

new.hanlon Compressors & compressed air systems A practical guide to compressor technology by HEINZ P. William M.premium industrial reciprocating compressors . and Eugene Silberstein Compressor handbook by paul c. Whitman. Johnson. BLOCH Manuals: Mycom wseries .References Books: Reciprocating compressors: Operation & Maintenance by Heinz p.hoefner Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology. John A. Tomczyk.bloch & john j. Sixth Edition by William C. http://www.airbestpractices.scribd.References Websites: http://www.scribd.pdf .com/doc/66667324/Foundation-Design-forReciprocating-Compressors-Arya www.scribd.sereneenergy.

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