Different Types of Reciprocating Compressors

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Reciprocating compressors are positive-displacement machines that compress and deliver gases at high pressures through the use of a piston or plunger. Refineries, gas transmission pipelines, and many other applications use reciprocating compressors to transfer hydrogen, oxygen, and other gases. This type of compressor is often used when the process fluid is relatively dry and when high compression ratios are required per stage without high flow rates.

In this post, we’ll review the different types of reciprocating compressors and some of the reliable options available from Energy Machinery, Inc.

Oil-Free vs Lubricated Reciprocating Compressors

Click to Expanddifferent types of reciprocating compressors

Applications can use either lubricated or oil-less reciprocating compressors based on their unique requirements.

Lubricated Reciprocating Compressors
Lubricated reciprocating compressors use lubricating oil to keep the piston running smoothly without causing damage to the mechanism. The lubricant also serves to maintain air compression efficiency and dissipate heat. This type of reciprocating compressor requires more frequent maintenance checks as well as periodic oil changes. Additionally, they require added air filtration, including coalescing filters and separators, which prevent oil from contaminating processes and affecting downstream equipment.

Oil-Free Reciprocating Compressors
With oil-free reciprocating compressors, the compression element is coated with a pre-lubricating material, eliminating the need for oil-based or synthetic lubrication. This type of compressor requires less routine maintenance but more extensive repairs. They also have a much shorter lifespan and they’re considerably louder during operation.

Because of these differences, lubricated reciprocating compressors are often more ideal for applications where compressors will experience heavy use. However, food processing, pharmaceutical, and other applications may want to use an oil-less compressor if they require air with high purity levels.

Types of Reciprocating Compressors

Whether you require oil-less or lubricated reciprocating compressors for your application, Energy Machinery, Inc. carries a variety of models to meet your needs. Our line of compressors includes:

  • PureAir Oil-Less Compressor. The Gardner Denver PureAir Series compressors are electric motor driven and designed to meet strict specifications regarding air purity for both institutional and industrial applications.
  • PureAir II Oil-Less Compressor. This Gardner Denver compressor is capable of 24-hour operation, which prevents the need for backup units and oversizing for optimal cost-effectiveness.
  • Reward Series™ – Reciprocating Air Compressors. Gardner Denver’s Reward Series compressors feature long-lasting designs that make them ideal for any application. Each compressor also includes as many as six standard pre-installed accessories.
  • R-Series Splash-Lubricated Compressor. R-Series compressors include a variety of unique features such as automotive-type domed pistons, which allow for the use of large-diameter, low-lift valves while providing maximum air delivery.
  • PL-Series Pressure-Lubricated Compressor. PL-Series compressors, much like the R-Series, include automotive-type domed pistons and other features for top performance. This model is specifically designed for use in extreme-duty applications, serving as an alternative for R-Series models.
  • Paradigm – Low Noise Reciprocating Air Compressors. These compressors are ideal for applications requiring quiet operation.
  • A-Series Reciprocating Compressors, Vacuum Pumps, and Boosters for Air and Natural Gas. A-Series compressors offer unbeatable accessibility, reliability, and quality with each component.
  • Climate Control Air-Cooled Reciprocating Compressors. Gardner Denver’s climate control compressors can meet the needs of nearly any application with complex climate control systems.
  • R and PL-Series Lubricated Air Compressors and Bare Pumps. Gardner Denver’s R and PL-Series compressors and bare pumps offer superior quality, longevity, and efficiency.

Reciprocating Compressors Serving New England

Oil-free and lubricated reciprocating compressors can meet the needs of many applications across a wide range of industries. To make sure you find the equipment that’s right for you, turn to the experts at Energy Machinery, Inc. We can help you locate the ideal solution in our extensive line of top-quality products. For more information about our reciprocating compressors or to get started with the selection process, contact us today.

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What Is a Compressor?

Energy Machinery, Inc. |

Many industrial processes rely on compressors to increase the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume. Industries such as HVAC, oil & gas, and more rely on compressors for everyday operations. Compressors work by forcing gas into the chamber where it is pressurized. From there, the pressurized gas is released so it can power various equipment and processes. Here, we will discuss the differences between oil and oil-free compressors as well as the various types of compressors available at Energy Machinery, Inc.

Oil vs. Oil-Free Compressors

Oil and oil-free gas compressors both deliver compressed, high-pressure gases that can be used in a wide variety of pneumatic applications. However, there are several key differences between these two categories. Oil compressors use oil-based lubricants to smooth the movement of internal components so there’s less wear, heat buildup, and noise during operations. Oil-free compressors are pre-lubricated by manufacturers and do not require lubrication throughout their lifespans.

Other important differences include:

  • Maintenance Requirements. Oil compressors require routine maintenance and frequent oil changes, whereas oil-free compressors are maintenance-free.
  • Lifespan. Oil compressors last longer than oil-free alternatives (provided they have proper maintenance). They are more rugged, more durable, and less likely to break down due to wear and heat buildup.
  • Mobility. Oil-free compressors are lighter and more portable, whereas oil compressors are heavier and not as mobile.
  • Price. Oil-free compressors are cheaper per unit than oil compressors. They are also cheaper due to not needing frequent applications of oil lubricant. However, the increased lifespan of oil compressors can lead to overall savings depending on how often the unit is used.

Different Types of Compressors

There are many different types of compressors to suit the needs of various industries and applications. At Energy Machinery, Inc., we offer the following compressor types:

What is a Compressor

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  • Reciprocating Compressors:
    • Reciprocating compressors, or piston compressors, are positive displacement machines that rely on the reciprocating action of two or more pistons to compress gas and deliver it at high pressure. The gas is compressed within a cylinder and discharged through valves into receiving tanks. Common applications for reciprocating compressors include gas transmission pipelines, refineries, and more.
  • Rotary Screw, Scroll, and Vane Compressors:
    • Rotary screw compressors use two meshed rotors to pull in gas. The gas is then compressed as it moves down through the rotors before it is discharged through a discharge port. This type of compressor offers quiet operation compared to reciprocating compressors and is ideal for construction and road building applications.Scroll compressors feature orbiting and stationary spirals which work to decrease the volume of space between them as the orbiting spirals move along the path of the stationary spirals. The gas enters at the outer edge of the scrolls and discharge takes place near the center. This type of compressor is commonly used for home air-conditioning and low-end applications.Vane compressors rely on a series of vanes that rotate from the suction side to the discharge side of an eccentric cavity. As the vanes sweep along the wall, they reduce the volume of space, compressing the gas trapped within. These compressors are commonly used in oil & gas and other process industries.
  • Variable Speed Compressors:
    • These units are rotary screw air compressors with variable speed drives that control the motion of the pieces. This type of compressor is very energy-efficient and can change to meet the needs of fluctuating demands.
  • Oil-Free Compressors:
    • Oil-free compressors do not rely on lubricating oil, making them ideal for applications where contamination is a concern, such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, and more. We offer a range of oil-free compressors, including rotary screw and two stage variable speed centrifugal variations.

Providing Quality Air Compressors to New England

Compressors are available in many types to suit the requirements of various industries and applications. Since 1971, Energy Machinery, Inc. has provided high-quality compressed air equipment to our customers. To learn more about our products, or for help selecting the best compressor option for your needs, contact us today.

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All About Oil-Free Air Compressors

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Air compressors take in air and pressurize it, creating clean, compressed air that plays a vital role in industries such as textiles, electronics, food, automotive, and packaging. Air compressors are at most job sites given their varied applications. There are different types of air compressors that you can purchase for industrial use, and they vary in weight, size, output performance, and overall benefits. Knowing the distinctions between oil-free and oil air compressors will help you pick the right type for your project.

What Is an Oil-Free Air Compressor?

Click to Expand oil-free air compressors

Oil-free compressors use alternative lubrication, cooling, and sealing methods, such as water lubrication, pre-lubricated cylinders, and intercoolers. Although some of these compressors do technically contain oil, the oil can’t come into contact with the compressor, which eliminates the risk associated with oil contamination and provides high-quality air for manufacturing. Air contamination from oil could harm equipment components or damage a company’s manufactured products.

Some of the industries that use oil-free air compressors and benefit from the lack of contamination risk include:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Paper
  • Power generation
  • Medical
  • Chemical
  • Food and beverage

Oil-Free Air Compressor Benefits

The advantages of using oil-free compressors include:

  • Portability. Most of these compressors are portable and have a compact design.
  • Weight. Oil-free compressors are lighter, so you can carry them easily during different commercial applications.
  • Noise reduction. The modern oil compressors are quieter than traditional ones due to the dual-piston, direct drive, and sound-reducing technology.
  • Cleanliness. Oil-free compressors are preferable in cleaner applications such as food and beverage processing because they produce quality air without contamination risks.
  • Lower maintenance and cost. With lower energy usage and fewer maintenance concerns handling leaks, oily condensate, and separator and filter replacement components, oil-free compressors can be a cost-effective solution.
  • Lubrication. You don’t have to lubricate this equipment manually.
  • Environmental concerns. These compressors reduce environmental impacts and toxic emissions since oil-free compressors do not need scheduled oil changes.
  • Safety. Oil-free compressors limit the likelihood of compressed air pipeline fires resulting from oil carryover.

Oil-Free Air Compressors vs. Oil Air Compressors

Oil-Free Air Compressors

One of the most notable features of an oil-free air compressor is the noninteraction between the compressed air and lubrication oil. This results in a better quality air supply, which is valuable in applications such as cleanrooms and dentistry. Also, oil-free compressors weigh much less than oil-lubricated compressors. This makes them ideal for commercial applications in medical air supplies, tire inflation, pneumatic tools, and jackhammering.

Oil Air Compressors

In oil-lubricated air compressors, however, the oil running the unit interacts with the output air, potentially introducing contamination. Oil droplets, liquids, mist, and vapors can get into the compressed air. Also, oil air compressors are often mounted as they are heavier and more cumbersome. As a result, they work best in applications that don’t need continual relocation.

Featured Oil-Free Air Compressors

Some of the oil-free compressor types available include:

    • PureAir Oil-Less Air Compressors. These compressors have advanced features and meet exacting standards to ensure better air quality. You also enjoy less maintenance and noise as some of the system’s benefits.
    • PureAir II Oil-Less Air Compressors. The PureAir II compressors feature a pressure-based, mounted, oil-less design that is ideal for continuous operation.
    • EnviroAire Series Oil-Free Rotary Screw Compressors. These EnviroAire units are water-injected compressors that operate at a lower temperature, providing low power consumption, high efficiency levels, and near isothermal compression.
    • Ultima Oil-Free Two Stage Variable Speed Compressors. These unique design units have a dry screw air end which provide the ultimate in efficiency.

Click here to learn more about Gardner Denver’s updated Oil-Free compressor solutions

Oil-Free Air Compressors From Energy Machinery

Oil-free compressors are becoming popular in many industries for their various applications and lack of risk for oil contamination. At Energy Machinery, Inc., we have a comprehensive range of oil-free compressors to suit almost any industrial need.

If you would like to find out more about our line of oil-free compressor solutions, please feel free to view our equipment catalog or contact us today. You can also request information for other products such as reciprocating compressors, variable speed compressors, lubricants and repair parts, used machinery, refrigerated air dryers, and more.

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Rotary Screw Air Compressor Guide

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Air compressors are pneumatic devices that increase the pressure of a gas by compressing it into a smaller volume. The kinetic energy contained in the pressurized air can then be used to power various tools and equipment. Based on their method of operation, air compressors can be split into several categories. The most common types include:

Rotary Screw Air Compressor Guide

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  • Rotary screw
  • Rotary vane
  • Scroll

What Is a Rotary Screw Air Compressor?

Rotary screw air compressors utilize a rotary-type positive displacement mechanism to compress air. Two intertwined screw rotors trap the ambient air and force it through the compression chamber as they rotate. As the air moves toward the discharge valve, its volume gradually decreases while its pressure increases. The resulting compressed air can then be used to operate air-driven tools, inflate tires, or power pneumatic equipment.

The main components of a rotary screw compressor include:

  • Air-end. This is the part of the compressor where the actual air compression occurs.
  • Air filter. The air filter purifies the air before it enters the compressor.
  • Primary separator tank. This component separates the compressed air from the compressor oil as it exits the air-end.
  • Secondary separation filter. The secondary separation filter collects any remaining oil particles in the air and circulates them back to the main oiling system.
  • Oil filter. The oil filter traps particles or contaminants from the oil before it re-enters the compressor
  • Oil cooler. This component cools the hot oil before it returns to the compressor.
  • Hoses. The hoses facilitate oil and air movement among various compressor components.
  • Controls. Controls operate the air compressor and provide relevant diagnostic or service information.
  • Oil. Oil lubricates the compressor, protects internal components, traps contaminants, and keeps the system cool.

Rotary Screw Air Compressor Benefits

Rotary screw air compressors provide the following advantages in compressed air applications:

  • Continuous operation. Operating at 100% duty cycle, rotary screw compressors can function for long periods of time without requiring downtime to cool.
  • Powerful yet quiet performance. Rotary screw compressors can deliver large volumes of air while producing minimal noise.
  • Higher CFM per HP. Compared with reciprocating and piston compressors, rotary screw compressors can move larger quantities of air—measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM)—per horsepower (HP).
  • Superior lifespan and energy efficiency. When maintained properly, rotary screw compressors can last 6-8 times longer than reciprocating or piston-based compressors and tend to have better warranties. They also generate significantly less heat, making them much more energy efficient.

Rotary Screw Compressors Vs. Rotary Vane Compressors

While they offer similar benefits, rotary screw and rotary vane compressors each have distinct capabilities that influence their suitability for certain applications. These include:

  • Applications. Rotary vane compressors are ideal when a smaller, quieter unit is preferred, while rotary screw compressors are better suited for larger horsepower applications with higher pressure requirements.
  • Leakage & lubrication. While the rate of leakage in rotary screw compressors tends to increase over time, a rotary vane compressor’s design allows for reduced leakage with increasing use.
  • Speed control. The energy efficiency of a rotary vane compressor is significantly reduced when operating speeds exceed or fall below their functional range. In contrast, rotary screw compressors can quickly adapt to variations in air demand with minor losses in efficiency.
  • Bearings. Compared with the simple bearings used in rotary vane compressors, the complex ball bearings of rotary screw compressors typically require more frequent inspection and replacement.
  • Repair & maintenance costs. In general, rotary screw compressors are more complex in design and require more maintenance and repair than their rotary vane counterparts.

Featured Rotary Screw Air Compressors

At Energy Machinery, we provide a variety of rotary screw air compressor options to suit specific applications. These include:

Rotary Screw Air Compressors from Energy Machinery

Energy Machinery offers an extensive selection of rotary screw air compressors from Gardner Denver and other leading manufacturers. With five decades of experience in our industry, we have the expertise and product selection to meet your specific needs while adhering to your budget.

To learn more about our rotary screw air compressors or other products, please contact us today.

 

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Silent Air Compressor Buying Guide

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Traditional air compressors create a great deal of excessive noise, which can cause various issues such as hearing loss, communication errors, decreased productivity, and more. To prevent these issues, many facilities invest in silent air compressors, which are specifically engineered to emit low levels of noise. The noise dampening properties of silent air compressors helps to decrease mechanical sound and noise pollution while still providing the compressed air needed for your operations.

Silent Air Compressors Overview

Click to Expandsilent air compressor buying guide

Air compressor manufacturers recognize the potential for injury caused by high-volume compressors, which is why they have established standardized ratings based on decibel (dB) levels. The three standard ratings for air compressors are:

  • 40 dB. This compressor rating produces the lowest level of noise. Smaller, low-power air compressors tend to fall within this category.
  • 60 dB. This compressor rating is recognized as the safest noise level for air compressors.
  • 85 dB. Compressors with this rating regularly produce sound that exceeds safe noise levels. Employees who are exposed to this level of sound on a regular basis may experience negative health effects.

Silent air compressors are specifically designed to create minimal noise through the use of advanced sound-reduction technology. They operate at or below 75 dB. Heavy hardware and noise-dampening materials minimize vibration, and a portable noise-dampening cover further eliminates excess sound. Silent air compressors come in oil-lubricated and oil-free designs, each of which features smooth component motion that reduces excess vibration from friction, grinding, and wear.

Silent Air Compressors Advantages

Silent air compressors offer a variety of advantages over more traditional compressor designs, including:

  • Reduced Maintenance
  • Lower Operating Costs
  • Many Applications
  • Extremely Portable
  • Reduced Power Consumption
  • Simple Start-Up
  • Low-Maintenance and Repair Costs
  • Improved Worker Safety

Silent Air Compressors Applications

Silent air compressors provide safe, efficient compressed air for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Spray Painting and Coating Equipment
  • Air-Powered and Air Impact Tools
  • Pneumatic Lifts and Elevators
  • Shot Peening and Sandblasting
  • Heating and Cooling Operations
  • Power Cleaning

Featured Silent Air Compressors

Energy Machinery, Inc. is pleased to offer a full selection of silent air compressors for use in a variety of domestic, commercial, and industrial applications. All of our ESM 6 compressors are highly efficient, extremely quiet, and cost-effective to operate and maintain.

ESM 6 – Standard Compressor
Our ESM 6 Standard Compressor is specifically designed for simplicity and ease of use. This compact 680 mm screw compressor is available with pressures up to 8 bar (115 psig). For those looking for a complete compressor station, we can customize your ESM 6 with tank-mounting and refrigerant dryer plus filter kit options. Installation and maintenance are simple, with removable side doors and quick access to all service points.

ESM 6 – Mounted on 270 L Receiver
This ESM 6 compressor is mounted on a 270 L receiver, which increases pressure up to 10 bar (145 psig). Larger than the standard, this model is 1540 mm wide and can be customized with an add-on refrigerant dryer and filter kit. Ideal for moderate commercial and industrial applications, the ESM 6 mounted on 270 L receiver is simple to install and maintain, with easy-to-adjust pressure settings.

ESM 6 – Mounted on 500 L Receiver
Our highest capacity ESM 6 design, mounted on 500 L receiver, provides pressures up to 13 bar (190 psig) in a package that is 1950 mm wide. This tank-mounted version can be customized with a refrigerant dryer and filter kit. This design is perfect for larger operations, with ample pressure for commercial and industrial washing, coating, painting, and cleaning operations.

Silent Air Compressors from Energy Machinery, Inc.

At Energy Machinery, Inc., we provide superior compressed air equipment for virtually any operation. To learn more about our selection of silent air compressors, contact us today!

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All About Desiccant Dryers

Armani Goens |

All About Desiccant Dryers

As compressors draw air into pneumatic systems, they also take in an amount—however small—of moisture. If left unchecked, this moisture can condense and disrupt the performance of the system downstream. Additionally, it can lead to the corrosion of systems components and growth and buildup of bacteria. Desiccant dryers are one method of avoiding these issues.

Desiccant dryers use desiccant material—specialized drying agents—to adsorb water vapor from process air. They play critical roles in operations that require particularly dry air, such as those of pneumatic systems and scientific instruments.

The following blog post provides an overview of desiccant dryers, including how they work and the types available.

How Do Desiccant Dryers Work?

Desiccant dryers rely on the principle of adsorption, employing drying agents—such as silica gel activated charcoal, and activated alumina—to adsorb moisture from compressed air streams flowing through systems. They are available in several variations, with the two primary classifications being heated and heatless. Both types operate similarly, as outlined below.

  1. Desiccant material is stored in two adjacent towers, a drying tank and a regenerating tank.
  2. The moisture-laden air flows into the drying tower, where the desiccant adsorbs the moisture from the air stream. Heated models use a heating element to raise the air temperature to facilitate moisture removal, while heatless models rely on heat naturally generated by the adsorption process.
  3. Dry air from the first tower transfers to the regenerating tower, where it pulls moisture off the desiccant to prepare it for reuse and then exits the system.

What Desiccant Dryer Is Right For You?

Desiccant dryers are available in several designs to suit different pneumatic system needs. At Energy Machinery, we offer the following types:

DGH Series

The DGH Series from Gardner Denver is a line of highly customizable heatless desiccant dryers. These standard dryers can be easily adjusted to meet the requirements and restrictions of any compressed air application. They offer pressure drops of less than five psi, accommodate inlet pressures of 100 psig and temperatures of 100° F, and come with standard and energy-saving controllers.

DHW Series

The DHW Series from Hankison® is a line of wall-mounting desiccant air dryers. They provide dew points in ISO 8573-1: 2010 Class 1 (-100º F, -73º C) and Class 2 (-40º F, -40º C) while maintaining flow rates of 7–50 scfm, making them suitable for use in applications that require low-pressure dew points.

HHS, HHL, and HHE Series

The HHS, HHL, and HHE Series of heatless desiccant dryers from Hankison features a two-tower system filled with premium-grade alumina. These dryers are available with three different control systems engineered for optimal performance in specific industrial applications. 

HBP Series

The HBP Series from Hankison is a line of blower purge desiccant compressed air dryers. They offer 100% efficiency and are available with heat rated outputs ranging from 10 kW to 70 kW and average full loads ranging from 10 kW to 70 kW.

Energy Machinery: Your New England Compressed Air Specialists

For all of your desiccant air dryer needs, turn to the experts at Energy Machinery. Equipped with almost 50 years of experience providing compressed air systems and supporting products, we can identify and supply the right solution for your compressed air application.

For additional information about our desiccant dryers and other product offerings or assistance choosing one for your facility, contact us today.

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Rotary Vane Compressor

Energy Machinery, Inc. |

Rotary Vane Compressor

An air compressor converts power from electricity, gas, or other sources into potential energy in the form of pressurized air. The pressurized air can be released in a controlled way to provide the kinetic energy needed for its given application.

In principle, an air compressor’s design is relatively straightforward. Air is brought into a chamber by means of intake valves and thereupon pressurized by a reduction in the chamber’s volume. When energy is needed from the compressor, the pressurized air is released via a discharge valve. 

There are several types of air compressors available on the market today. There are three common types of air compressors: 

  • Rotary screw
  • Scroll
  • Rotary vane

 

This blog post will mainly focus on the design and advantages provided by rotary vane compressors. 

What is a Rotary Vane Compressor?

Rotary vane air compressors use centrifugal motion to pressurize the air. They are thus designed quite differently from compressors with reciprocating pistons—instead of utilizing a pumping motion to compress air, rotary vane machines employ a spinning technique.

How Does a Rotary Vane Compressor Work?

All rotary vane compressors come equipped with a cylindrical rotor that is off-center from its housing. This rotor contains several partitions—or walls— that extend outwards towards the housing.

As air is drawn into the housing chamber via intake valves, the rotor spins around in a circular motion. As the rotor spins, its walls squeeze the air trapped between the rotor and the edge of the housing into progressively smaller spaces, which is why the rotor is offset from the center of the housing. This quickly pressurizes the air.

The now-pressurized air is funneled towards a discharge valve where it may be released and used by a manual operator or automated process. The rotor continues spinning, and the cycle repeats to maintain a steady flow of pressurized air. 

Advantages of a Rotary Vane Compressor

There are several advantages provided by rotary vane air compressors, such as:

  • Efficiency. Rotary vane compressors are highly energy-efficient, with their rotors typically spinning at 1,800 rpm or less.
  •  Longevity. Rotary vane compressors are very durable, with some rated for more than 100,000 hours of optimal service.
  •  Flexibility. Rotary vane compressors are extremely versatile, serving a diverse range of industries and applications.

Rotary Vane Compressors vs. Rotary Screw Compressors

Rotary vane compressors are often compared to their closest counterpart, the rotary screw compressor. Each compressor has unique advantages and drawbacks. The following is a brief overview of some key differences between the two machines:

  •  Complexity. Rotary vane compressors are fairly simple machines, both in design and in operation. In contrast, rotary screw compressors are much more complex and sensitive, since they include not one major moving part, but two simultaneously active screws that must perfectly match one another’s movements. 
  • Durability. The rotary vane design is much more durable than the rotary screw, featuring 100,000 hours of service life versus 30,000–40,000 hours for the rotary screw design.
  • Power usage. Rotary screw compressors require continuous turns of 3,000–8,000 rpm, versus 1,800 rpm for rotary vane devices. 
  • Maintenance. Generally speaking, rotary vane compressors require more maintenance than rotary screw machines. For example, many rotary vane compressors require an oil change every 2,000 working hours; this interval between servicing is twice as long for rotary screw machines (about 4,000 working hours).

Rotary Vane Compressors for Sale

At Energy Machinery, we offer an extensive catalog of rotary vane compressors from Gardner Denver and other major compressor brands. We have provided world-class products and exceptional customer service to customers in a broad range of industries for almost five decades. 

If you’d like to learn more about our selection of rotary vane compressors or any other products from our catalog, please contact us.

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Positive Displacement Compressor

Energy Machinery, Inc. |

Positive Displacement Compressor

Compressors are mechanical equipment used in a wide variety of industrial and commercial settings to generate pressurized gas. They compress gas, most commonly air, by reducing its overall volume. The multiple compressor types vary based on the method of compression, power source, and capability to compress specific liquids and gases. In this blog, we’ll discuss positive displacement compressors, how they work, and what makes them different from other compressors.

What is a Positive Displacement Compressor?

Positive displacement compressors take in a higher volume of air per unit of time than they can release. The compressor pulls in air through a relatively larger inlet system, and the gas becomes pressurized while being forced through the smaller outlet. The mass flow rate controls this compression so that operators can compress air at different pressure levels to best suit the needs of various applications.

 

Some different types of positive displacement blowers include:

  •   Diaphragm compressors
  •   Ionic liquid piston compressors
  •   Reciprocating compressors
  •   Rolling piston compressors
  •   Rotary screw compressors
  •   Rotary vane compressors
  •   Scroll compressors

How Does Positive Displacement Work?

At their simplest, positive displacement compressors draw a particular volume of gas into the compressor’s chamber and then decrease the size of that chamber. This action combines with an outlet system that forces the air to remain pressurized as it exits the compressor, resulting in elevated air pressures that operators can adjust and control. Each type of positive displacement blower uses different techniques to achieve air compression. For example, some compressors have pistons that gradually lower to decrease the available space within a chamber, and others have rotary screws that capture the gas at the inlet. 

Some air compressors use oil as a lubricant by injecting it into the air as it’s compressed. However, most positive displacement compressors have oil-free or oil-less designs that don’t require this additional step. Oil-less air compressors don’t use oil at all, while oil-free compressors have lubricated parts that don’t contaminate air within the compressor’s air chamber. However, the lack of oil-based lubrication can result in less efficiency.

Positive Displacement Blowers and Vacuum Pumps

At Energy Machinery, we specialize in supplying high-quality blowers and vacuum pumps that fit each customer’s unique operational needs. Our positive displacement compression equipment includes these blowers and vacuum pumps:

  •   CycloBlower® Industrial Series Positive Displacement Blowers with Vacuum Pump. We offer several different positive displacement blowers with vacuum pump lengths ranging from 19-1/8 inches to 61 inches.
  •   DuroFlow® Industrial Series Positive Displacement Blowers with Vacuum Pump. Our selection of DuroFlow models includes a wide range of series and models to fit our customers’ needs best.
  •   4500 Series Positive Displacement Blowers with Vacuum Pump. Our inventory includes extension model options with different dimensions to suit any system or application requirements.

Positive Displacement vs. Dynamic Compressors

Dynamic compressors are another type of fluid compressor that uses different mechanics from positive displacement equipment. Dynamic compressors work at constant pressure levels instead of changing the fluid pressure between the inlet and outlet. Instead, dynamic compressors have different facial and radial designs, with high-velocity impellers that drive the gas through a diffuser where the air’s kinetic energy becomes static pressure.

 

This mechanism can create high levels of horsepower. While positive displacement compressors are the most common type used in industrial facilities, dynamic compressors (or turbo compressors) may have more value in settings that need extremely high levels of power.

Contact Energy Machinery for Your Next Positive Displacement Systems

Positive displacement compressors ultimately generate higher pressure levels by decreasing the available volume for captured air. The decrease in volume raises the pressure and results in high-pressure air escaping through the outlet. Operators can increase or reduce the capacity to control the fluid’s pressure.

 

If your facility needs positive displacement blowers and vacuums, Energy Machinery is here to help. We’ve offered high-quality supply and support services for nearly 50 years. Contact us today to learn more about our inventory or to place your order. 

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Oil Lubricated Air Compressor

Armani Goens |

Oil Lubricated Air Compressor

An air compressor converts the power from a gas or electric motor into pressurized air—more commonly known as compressed air—and then releases the pressurized air through discharge valves to support a variety of uses.

The basic air compressor design is fairly simple to understand. Air is brought into a chamber by means of intake valves and subsequently compressed, either by means of an up-and-down pumping action (as in reciprocating piston compressors) or a centrifugal spinning action (as in rotary vane compressors).

There are several types of air compressors available on the market today, including:

  • Rotary screw air compressors
  • Scroll air compressors
  • Rotary vane air compressors

When it comes to lubrication, compressors generally fall into one of two categories: oil-lubricated or oil-free. This blog post will discuss oil-lubricated air compressors and provide a comparison between them and their oil-free counterparts.

What Is an Oil-Lubricated Air Compressor?

As the name implies, an oil-lubricated air compressor uses lubricating oil to keep its piston or rotary element free of unnecessary friction and in top operating condition. The oil is also an important component in reducing heat and maintaining energy efficiency within the air compressor.

Oil-lubricated air compressors can be grouped into splash or pressure designs. Splash systems deliver the lubricating oil to the compressor’s moving parts by means of rotating dippers that throw the oil up from a reservoir, while pressure systems utilize an oil pump to deliver consistent lubrication throughout.

Oil-Lubricated Air Compressors vs. Oil-Free

Lubricated and oil-free air compressors each have advantages and drawbacks. The following is a brief overview of the pros and cons associated with each design.

 

Pros and Cons of Oil-Lubricated Air Compressors

  • Oil-lubricated compressors are able to handle higher pressure capabilities than their oil-less counterparts.
  • Generally, oil-lubricated models are more durable than oil-free designs.
  • Lubricated compressors are the preferred choice in working conditions with extreme heat and/or humidity.
  • Oil-lubricated compressors require more regular maintenance to check and/or change the lubrication.
  • Oil-based models are heavier—and therefore less portable—than oil-free compressors.
  • Oil-lubricated compressors ultimately release some oil contaminants into the air.

Pros and Cons of Oil-Free Air Compressors

  • Oil-free compressors are light-weight and more portable than oil-lubricated models.
  • Oil-less compressor models are typically maintenance-free.
  • Generally, oil-free compressors are quieter than oil-lubricated designs.
  • Oil-free compressors don’t have the same high-pressure capabilities as oil-lubricated compressors.
  • They are less corrosion-resistant than oil-lubricated models.
  • Some oil-free models do not last as long as their oil-lubricated counterparts.

Air Compressor Lubricating Oil

At Energy Machinery, we offer a number of lubricating oil products for air compressors, such as:

  • Lubricant AEON®9000SP. This synthetic lubricant/coolant blend is primarily designed for rotary screw air compressors and has been proven to provide superior operational results and service durability.
  • AEON Compressor Lubricants. Our catalog of petroleum-based and synthetic lubricants help to mitigate the compressional friction within rotary screw and reciprocating air compressors alike.
  • AEON Compressor Fluids. These compressor fluids come in a variety of types and sizes to fit specific lubrication needs.

All of our compressor lubricants have been thoroughly tested and proven to yield exceptional results. We are more than happy to help each and every one of our customers find the best product for his specific model of air compressor.

Oil-Lubricated Air Compressors at Energy Machinery

In summary, both oil-lubricated and oil-free air compressors have unique capabilities, advantages, and drawbacks. Whether working with an oil-lubricated rotary screw, scroll, or rotary vane models, it is vital to feed the correct type and amount of oil into the system for best results.

If you are interested in learning more about oil-lubricated air compressors or have questions about our catalog of air compressors and lubricants, please contact us today.

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Positive Displacement Blower

Energy Machinery, Inc. |

Positive Displacement Blower

Positive displacement blowers, or rotary blowers, circulate air by pulling a certain volume of gas into the rotary chamber and then pushing it out. Manufacturing and processing facilities use these blowers for a variety of applications, including aeration, vacuum processing, air extraction, and cleaning. 

There are multiple types of blowers that can provide some degree of air circulation and displacement, including centrifugal blowers and regenerative blowers. However, it’s important to choose the right blower for different applications and energy use requirements.

How Does a Positive Displacement Blower Work?

Positive displacement blowers have two rotating impellers inside its central casing. These impellers—which can have two or three lobes—spin in opposite directions to force air into the blower and apply pressure to the air. The air enters the inlet side of the chamber, which is at atmospheric pressure and traps the air between two rotating impellers inside the machine. The blower then pressurizes and discharges the air to create circulation. The positive displacement process ensures that air cannot return to the chamber and that the airflow is unidirectional.

These blowers have two key advantages:

  1.     They can move large volumes of air.
  2.     The systems are long-lived and straightforward, with relatively few maintenance demands.

Positive Displacement Blowers vs. Centrifugal Blowers

Both positive displacement blowers and centrifugal blowers force air movement. Whereas positive displacement blowers use impellers and displacement to force pressurized air through an outlet port, centrifugal blowers use kinetic energy to increase the speed of air moving through the unit. The unit then slows the air through a diffuser to convert the energy into static pressure. Facilities commonly reserve centrifugal blowers for ventilation, continuous gas transfer processes, and aeration applications.

Regenerative Blowers vs. Positive Displacement Blowers

Just like with positive displacement blowers, regenerative blowers use rotating impellers to draw air into the unit. Regenerative blowers then use centrifugal forces to accelerate the air and capture it between multiple internal blades. The spinning motion pushes the air from the top to the bottom of the blade configuration. Then, the blower pushes the air out of the unit at high speeds. 

Regenerative blowers “regenerate” the air by turning it multiple times and increasing the pressure. These blowers are ideal for environments that need to have oil-free air; the spinning parts are self-lubricating and don’t release oils.

Gardner Denver Positive Displacement Blowers at Energy Machinery

Choosing the right blower type for a given application is essential. Different blowers work best to provide specific levels of pressure or the desired volume of air. Positive displacement blowers can provide a high degree of air volume movement at low-pressure levels. Energy Machinery provides the following positive displacement blowers:

  • CycloBlower: These positive displacement blowers deliver efficient, high-quality, and durable performance. They have shock-free compression, maintain a high-energy efficiency rating, and deliver oil-free air.
  • DuroFlow: The DuraFlow series of blowers have been used for nearly 50 years. These industrial blowers are durable, have a variety of installation and mounting options, and have multiple subtypes, so you can find the PSI levels that meet your needs.
  • 4500 Series: 4500 Series positive displacement blowers are rugged and can handle a wide variety of industrial applications. Each model comes with at-a-glance features and noise reduction options. 

Energy Machinery, Inc. has specialized in providing air compression equipment and excellent customer service for over 45 years. We partner with major manufacturers to deliver the units and replacement parts that meet your facility’s requirements. Along with units and parts services, we also offer engineering services such as:

  • Energy audits
  • Leak detection analysis
  • Compressor room analysis, and more.

Contact our team to learn more about our inventory of high-quality parts and to find the units that will fulfill your facility’s air displacement needs. You can also request a quote to start your order today.

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