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Types of Compressor Technology

Jun. 02, 2022

Different types of process chillers fall under two main categories: (1) Vapor Absorption and (2)Vapor Compression. Vapor compression chillers are the most common and include (1) air chillers and (2) water/fluid chillers. Chillers are further categorized by the type of compressor technology used: (1) centrifugal, (2) scroll, (3) reciprocating, and (4) screw.


Chillers are refrigerant systems that help cool residential/commercial spaces, machinery, industrial operations and industrial chemicals. These units are energy efficient, cost effective and time effective. Without these systems, production goals are often unattainable.


Chillers fall under two main categories: vapor compression and vapor absorption chillers. vapor compression chillers use an electrically driven mechanical compressor to force a refrigerant around the system while vapor absorption chillers use heat to move the refrigerant around the system.


Vapor compression chillers are the most commonly used and are divided into two subcategories: air chillers and water chillers. Let's take a quick look at how they work, their applications, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Air Cooled Screw Chiller

 Air Cooled Screw Chiller   


How air and water chillers work?

Both air and water chillers have the same components: evaporator, compressor, condenser and expansion valve. In addition, the mechanisms of both are very similar. The compressor pushes the refrigerant inside the chiller through the condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator, and then returns it to the compressor. (Read more about How Do Air Cooled Chillers Work.)


The main difference between an air cooler and a water cooler is how the unwanted heat is removed. Air coolers use air to remove heat, while water coolers use.


Air-cooled Chillers

Air-cooled chillers use air to remove heat by forcing air through the exposed tubes of the condenser using a fan. While air coolers require more energy than water cooled chillers, they can be a good choice when it comes to stationary cooling. Air coolers are easy to install and can often be mounted outside of a building (no additional space required). Air chillers are more prone to clogging and recirculation problems than chillers. (Read more about How Do Air Cooled Chillers Work.)

 Air Cooled Scroll Chiller

 Air Cooled Scroll Chiller


Water-cooled chillers Chillers

A water chiller removes heat by pumping water into a sealed condenser and dispersing it to a cooling tower. Water-cooled chillers are usually more efficient than air-cooled chillers. Using water evaporation to dissipate heat uses much less energy than blowing air across a hot surface. This is due to the high heat capacity of water. In addition, chillers tend to last longer than air-cooled chillers.


Types of compressor technology

Air-cooled and water-cooled chillers are further classified according to the type of compressor technology used.


Centrifugal chillers

Most centrifugal chillers are water chillers (it is extremely rare that you will find a centrifugal system in an air chiller). Centrifugal chillers are typically used for medium to large cooling loads (typically providing 150 to 6,000 tons of cooling capacity) This system provides high cooling capacity in a compact design. Centrifugal chillers use a rotating impeller to compress the refrigerant and force it around the chiller.

Water Cooled Screw Chiller

Water Cooled Screw Chiller


Reciprocating chillers

These systems work by using pistons and chambers to compress the refrigerant.

Scroll Compressor Chillers

Scroll compressors are used for air and water coolers. These chillers compress the refrigerant by using two screw plates (one fixed and one rotating). Our chillers for 1 and 2 ton models use scroll compressors.


Screw Drive Chillers

Screw chillers are also used in water chillers and air chillers and are best suited for small to medium sized cooling loads. These chillers are typically available in capacities of 70 to 600 tons. Screw compressors work by using two interlocking rotating helical rotors to compress refrigerant.


Theflooded type screw type chiller adopts efficient semi-closed screw compressor. the compressor adopts a 5:6 asymmetric high-efficiency screw rotor, which is graded or steplessly energy regulated. It is automatically adjusted according to load changes and is more energy efficient. The unit heat exchanger adopts high-efficiency heat exchange tube to improve the refrigeration efficiency, and the unit is equipped with multiple protections to make the unit operate safely and reliably. Min.outlet temperature can be -60℃.


Huazhao chillers are portable water-cooled chillers; they offer all the energy efficiency of chillers and fast cooling without the need for dense installations or bulky towers. If you need help determining which chiller type is best for your needs, or would like more information on how Huazhao chillers work, shoot us an email at j.li@szhuateeng.com send us an email.


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