Difference between reciprocating and rotary compressors

The main difference between rotary and reciprocating compressor can be done on the basis of maximum delivery pressure, free discharge rate, speed of the compressor, the supply of air,  the size of compressor, lubrication system, efficiency, suitability, initial cost, working fluid, the cycle of operation, balancing. So here this article gives the information about the main key difference between reciprocating compressor and a rotary compressor to better understand this topic.

What is a reciprocating compressor?

Reciprocating compressors are meat intermittent use and when you need a small amount of air. These are best suited for a homeowner. Workshops, small business, and construction work. If your compressor is going to be idle more than about one of a third of the time, then a  reciprocating compressor is a probably better choice for your need and satisfaction because the rotary compressor does not fare well with downtime.

What is a rotary compressor?

Rotary compressors are for an application that needs continues to air. They are designed to operate non stop and produce a strong and consistent flow of air. Rotary compressors are a good choice for commercial as well as industrial users that have a constant demand for air. They are very durable and reliable in situations where they are put under a lot of demand. 

Difference between reciprocating and rotary compressors:

  • In reciprocating compressor compression of air takes place with the help of position and cylinder arrangement with reciprocating motion of the piston. While in rotary compressor compression of air takes place due to rotary motion of blades.
  • Reciprocating compressor delivery of air intermittent, Rotary compressor delivery of air is continuous. 
  • The reciprocating compressor flow rate of air is low, while the flow rate of air is high in a rotary compressor.
  • Delivery pressure is high in a reciprocating compressor, while the delivery pressure is low in the rotary compressor.
  • Rotation speed is low in a reciprocating compressor, while in rotation speed is high in a rotary compressor 
  • The reciprocating compressor needs proper lubrication and more maintenance, while in a rotary compressor required less lubrication and maintenance.
  • The speed of the compressor is low because of unbalanced in a reciprocating compressor but the speed of the compressor is high because of perfect balancing in a rotary compressor.
  • In reciprocating air compressor has more number of moving parts, while in rotary air compressor has fewer number of moving parts.
  • A reciprocating compressor is used when the small quality of air at high pressure is required, while in a rotary compressor used where large-quality pressure is required.
  • Reciprocating compressor due to the speed of rotation can not be directly coupled to prime mover but it requires reduction of speed, but in the rotary compressor can be directly coupled to the prime mover.
  • The size of the reciprocating compressor is bulky for given discharge volume, while in rotary compressor size is small for given discharge volume.
  • Reciprocating compressor required complicated lubrication style is required, while in a rotary compressor Simple lubrication style is required.
  • Reciprocating compressor air is delivered from the compressor is dirty, since it comes in contact with the lubricating oil and cylinder surface. While on air delivered from the rotary compressor is clean and free from dirt.