How Does a Trane Screw Compressor Work?

Commercial Refrigeration Systems are driven by refrigerant pumped through a system and this means they require a special pump called a compressor. However, not all compressors are the same and a Trane screw compressor is much different than a standard reciprocating type compressor unit. Let’s take a look at this kind of compressor and see how it works.

Standard Compressors

To get a better understanding of the Trane screw compressor, let’s check out how reciprocating compressors work. The process is simple and works very much like a piston driven internal combustion engine. However, there are no gases burned in the process. The compressor takes in refrigerant through the intake port, compresses it and pumps it out the discharge port. It does this via the action of a piston moving through a cylinder. This keeps refrigerant flowing through a refrigeration system.

Screw Compressors

A Trane screw compressor is sometimes called a rotary compressor. These units work in similar fashion to positive displacement gear pumps. There are no pistons, crankshafts or valves. Instead, two geared shafts turn, interlocking in the process. As the shafts turn refrigerant is sucked in through the gears and pushed along, compressed and out the discharge port.

The action of the two geared shafts (rotors) turning and meshing together creates a steady flow of refrigerant through the system. A piston driven compressor is not constantly pumping (when the piston is on a down stroke) but a Trane screw compressor is constantly working, and creating a smooth and even flow of refrigerant.

The effectiveness of rotary screw compressors depends on the clearance or meshing of the two rotors and the chambers they are fitted in. In fact, there is some degree of pressure leakage but this is limited by increasing the speed of the rotors.

Benefits of the Trane Screw Compressor

A rotary screw compressor brings several advantages with it. For example:

  • Size – as a general rule screw compressors are smaller than reciprocating compressors because they are more compact. This is an important consideration when space is an issue. Plus, installation may be easier due to their smaller size.
  • Less vibration – Because their operation is smooth and continuous, you get much less vibration than with a standard compressor. In large applications this is an important consideration.
  • Noise – smoother operation means less noise and this is a valuable feature for many businesses.
  • Less oil consumption
  • Increased economy – A Trane screw compressor is very efficient and can help to save on maintenance costs, making it a cost effective solution to commercial refrigeration.
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