Air Conditioner Scroll Compressors
The scroll compressor is found on most central air conditioners installed throughout the Greater Toronto Area. When I say most I still mean some… If you have an air conditioner outside that looks like the image to the right…. then there is a good chance that you don’t have one. A scroll compressor is an very efficient way to compress a fluid, gas, or refrigerant necessary to create cooling.
History of Scroll Compressors
The system was invented in 1905 but requires such close tolerances that the parts were not able to be built until after World War II. Even then it took until the early 1980’s for this technology to start making it into your home air conditioners. The scroll compressor is used most commonly in a central air conditioner but you can find them in automobiles, mechanical shops, and air compressors.
What is a Scroll Compressor
It is challenging to try and detail how this compressor works through words, but here it goes. You need to fit two Archimedean spirals together, one is stationary and the other will orbit inside the other (not rotate). This produces pockets of air or fluid that travel inwards toward a smaller area, ultimately being compressed.
Benefits of a Scroll Compressor
- The system is more efficient than traditional methods of compression increasing and A/C seer rating.
- These types of compressors are far more quiet than past designs.
- The scroll compressor is very stable and produces little vibration.
- 70 percent fewer moving parts than alternative compressors.
- Very small size allows smaller air conditioners.
Vulnerabilities of Scroll Compressors
- Tight tolerances make these systems vulnerable to introduced debris (your air conditioner is a sealed system so the chance is close to zero).
- Scroll compressor can only rotate in one direction.