Scroll Compressors - One of the workhorses for heat pumps and air conditioners is the scroll compressor. The scroll compressor works as many other compressors do as far as the refrigeration process is concerned. The scroll compresses the refrigerant thereby raising its pressure and temperature. The compressor does its job by making cool refrigerant and turning it into hot refrigerant changing both the temperature and the pressure. Since the late 90′s the scroll has taken off and has nearly replaced the reciprocating compressor in the average air conditioner and heat pump system. Two-stage scroll compressors have replaced using two reciprocating compressors in an air conditioner or heat pump condenser that is high efficiency.
Benefits of Scroll Compressors
Scroll compressors have less moving parts than other compressors and have proven there reliability and performance over the time scrolls have been in service. A problem with scroll compressors that has been overcome mechanically is to prevent a single phase scroll compressor from running backwards. In the event of a short power loss it was possible for a single phase scroll to run backwards. This problem was remedied with a mechanical fix so the compressor will not run backwards. Reciprocating compressors will run fine in either direction. You will find scroll compressors in many air conditioners and heat pumps.
Scroll Compressor History
First invented in 1905 in France the scroll was first envisioned to be used as a steam rotary engine but the technology of the time couldn’t produce the proper casting to make it usable for the rotary steam system.
Scroll compressors for air conditioners and heat pump applications are now available in three different types as manufactured by Copeland. The typical standard scroll compressor, the two-stage compressor which can run at 66% and at 100% depending on demand, and the newer modulating scroll compressor that can modulate based on demand. The most energy efficient compressor being the modulating compressor.