Scroll Compressor Reliability

Reliability is a major concern in most refrigeration applications. The Copeland Scroll™ compressor is your most reliable compressor solution. With over 26 million scrolls installed, and thousands in refrigeration applications, Copeland understands your need for reliability. Let us tell you why Copeland Scroll compressors are the most reliable solutions for refrigeration systems. 


A Copeland Scroll compressor simply has fewer parts. Fewer parts eliminates many failure modes. Reciprocating designs (hermetic or semi-hermetic) contain many components. Generally, there are 9 parts for every cylinder: Suction Reed, Discharge Reed, Piston, Piston Rings, Wrist Pin, Connecting Rod, Valve Plate, Body and Gasket. Scroll compression simplifies the compression process to 2 parts: a fixed and an orbiting scroll. There are no suction reeds to break. The parts that are most susceptible to high temperature (wrist pins, connecting rods) are removed.

Scroll Compressor Reliability TestEquity Environmental Chambers Scroll Compressors
Reciprocating Compressor
9 Parts Per Cylinder
Copeland Scroll Compressor
2 Parts


Most scroll designs have a groove machined into the scroll "tips" where a "tip seal" is inserted. The tip seal's sole purpose is to prevent leaks when the fixed and orbiting scrolls are mated together and running.

No matter what the material, seals wear out over time - so we have engineered a better solution. Copeland's scroll elements are precision machined to microns of an inch in length, providing a metal-to-metal sealing surface that polishes itself in over time. It actually improves the surface microfinish as it runs. This patented design was created specifically to provide the longest life possible. A Copeland Scroll compressor polishes as it operates, wearing in rather than out.


One of the most punishing consequences of refrigeration applications is the tendency for liquid "slugs" of refrigerant that come back to the compressor. Liquids are of course incompressible, and they will fail a compressor faster than any other system problem. The key to managing liquid refrigerant slugs is "compliance". Compliance is the ability of scrolls to separate under abnormal conditions. Copeland's patented scroll design uses both axial and radial compliance to deal effectively with liquid.

A Copeland Scroll compressor handles liquid better than any other compressor, making it the most reliable choice for grueling refrigeration applications.

Axial Compliance Radial Compliance