Comparison Between Reciprocating and Rotary Compressors

Comparison between Reciprocating and Rotary Compressors can be done in aspects like pressure ratio, handled volume, speed of compressor, vibrational problem, size, air supply, purity of compressed air, compression efficiency, maintenance, mechanical efficiency, lubrication, initial cost, flexibility and suitability.

S.no
Aspect
Reciprocating Compressors
Rotary Compressors
1Pressure RatioDischarge Pressure of air is high. The pressure ratio per stage will be in the order of 4 to 7.Discharge pressure of air is low. The pressure ratio per stage will be in the order of 3 to 5.
2Handled VolumeQuantity of air handled is low and is limited to 50m3/s.Large measure of air handled can be handled and it is about 500 m3/s.
3Speed of CompressorLow speed of compressor.High speed of compressor.
4Vibrational ProblemDue to reciprocating section, greater vibrational problem, the parts of machine are poorly balanced.Rotary parts of machine, thus it has less vibrational problems. The machine parts are fairly balanced.
5Size of compressorSize of Compressor is bulky for given discharge volume.Compressor size is small for given discharge volume.
6Air supplyAir supply is intermittent.Air supply is steady and continuous..
7Purity of compressed airAir delivered from the compressor is dirty, since it comes in contact with lubricating oil and cylinder surface.Air delivered from the compressor is clean and free from dirt.
8Compressed efficiencyHigher with pressure ratio more than 2.Higher with compression ratio less than 2.
9MaintanenceHigher due to reciprocating engine.Lower due to less sliding parts..
10Mechanical EfficiencyLower due to several sliding parts..Higher due to less sliding parts.
11LubricationComplicated lubrication system.Simple lubrication system.
12Initial costHigher.Lower.
13FlexibilityGreater flexibility in capacity and pressure range.No flexibility in capacity and pressure range.
14SuitabilityFor medium and high pressure ratio.
For low and medium gas volume.
For low and medium pressures.
For large volumes.
ME Mechanical Team
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