Contributed by Masataka Yamane, HVACR advisor
Rotary compressors are currently produced in high volumes around the world and are the compressor used in closest proximity to our daily lives. Their applications span a wide range, from server cooling to residential and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment to large module chillers.
Rotary compressors are compatible with most refrigerants available in the market, including R410A, natural refrigerants such as CO2, and R32 and other refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP). Rotary compressors use either a rolling piston or sliding vane compression method. The former is used in the majority of refrigeration and air conditioning applications, while the latter is mainly used in car air conditioning applications. Rolling piston rotary compressors include one piston, two piston, variable cylinder, two-stage compression, and swing types.