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How a Scroll Compressor Works
Unlike reciprocating technology with many moving parts, the Copeland scroll
compressor has one scroll or spiral orbiting in path defined by a matching fixed
scroll. The fixed scroll is attached to the compressor body. The orbiting scroll
is couple to the crankshaft in orbit rather then rotated. The orbiting motion
creates a series of gas pockets traveling between the two scrolls. On the outer
portion of the scroll the pocket draw in gas, then move it to center of the
scroll where it’s discharged. As the gas moves in the increasing smaller
inner pocket, the temperature and pressure increase to the desired discharged
Copeland's Compliant Scroll technology is based on the concept of compliance.
Compliance refers to the method in which the two scroll members interact to
simultaneously achieve high efficiency and durability. Copeland's unique and
patented approach -- achieving both radial and axial compliance -- provides
the following important advantages:
Continuous flank contact, maintained by centrifugal force, minimizes gas
leakage and maximizes efficiency.
Radial compliance allows the scroll members to separate in the presence
of liquid refrigerant or debris, thereby substantially improving durability
Axial compliance allows the scroll to remain in continuous contact in all
normal operating conditions, ensuring minimal leakage without the use of tip
Both radial and axial compliance allow the scroll members to actually "wear
in" rather than wear out.
Scroll Compressor Efficiency
The simple straightforward design of Copeland Scroll compressors makes them
inherently more efficient. That's why leading manufacturers so often specify
Copeland Scroll compressors for systems designed to meet the highest efficiency
levels. Since there are no pistons to compress gas, scroll compressors achieve
100% volumetric efficiency, which provides reduced energy costs in many applications.
Re-expansion losses, which typically occur with each piston stroke in reciprocating
models, are eliminated. Similarly, losses at valves are eliminated, because
suction valves do not exist.
During operation, centrifugal force maintains nearly continuous compression
and constant, leak-free contact. Separation of suction and discharge gases reduces
heat transfer loss.
Reduced Sound Level
Copeland Scroll compressors' simple design means they operate at lower sound
and vibration levels than reciprocating compressors. In fact, tests have shown
that scroll compressors are up to three times quieter than reciprocating models.
One reason for the lower sound levels is the Copeland Scroll compressors require
no suction valves to achieve efficient compression. The smooth operation results
in quieter operation with less vibration.
That not only gives you greater flexibility when it comes to system design
and placement, it also means you can satisfy the requirements of your most demanding
customers for quiet operation. Maybe that's one reason Popular Science called
Copeland Scroll compressors "the first significant new development in the
HVAC industry in years."