Pros and Cons of the Piston Compressor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

BOGE Singapore offers a wide range of piston compressors to the Asia-Pacific market. With so many great products available, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you.

Pros and Cons of the Piston Compressor

Of course, our experts are always ready to answer any queries, but if you would like to know whether a piston compressor is the right choice for you, read on.


What is a Piston Compressor?

Piston compressors create a steady output of compressed air. This air can then be used to power other equipment. It achieves this through a piston that moves up and down inside a cylinder, drawing air in and out. This movement is powered by an electric motor.


By altering the speed of this motor, the reciprocating motion of the piston can be controlled to produce varying amounts of compressed air. Of course, you'll need a reliable compressor control system to get the best out of them.


Along with screw compressors, a piston compressor uses positive displacement to push compressed air through the outlet.


Piston compressors have been in use for well over a hundred years, and in BOGE's 111 year history, we have continued to innovate on this design. Piston compressors are well known, therefore, and have become the backbone of many industries.


That being said, there are other compressors out there such as screw, scroll, and turbo models that work in a different way to piston compressors. The reason for these differences is that each compressor type is best suited to specific tasks.


With this in mind, let's now look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of a piston compressor design so that you can be more informed in making your choice.


Advantages of a Piston Compressor

Piston compressors are not the go-to choice for many manufacturers by sheer luck alone. They are chosen because of the advantages they provide. These include:


  • Proven Track Record:  As mentioned above, piston compressors have been around for a long time. They have been used in almost every environment and sector imaginable. Because of this, customers can be truly confident in their abilities to produce the compressed air they need. Pistons are proven workhorses, and this track record has made them the number one choice for many.


  • Low Cost Installation: In some instances, piston compressors can still be expensive initially, but their installation and maintenance are very affordable. They are easy to install and can often be fitted into existing systems due to their simplicity. In the long run, this saves manufacturers and other users a lot of money.


  • Rugged Design: Our piston compressors are built from premium materials and have been field tested to the limits of current engineering technology. These piston compressors can be depended upon in harsh environments where other designs fail.


  • High Output: While other designs are quieter and have other advantages, piston compressors can output at high pressure thresholds. This again is one reason why they are used often in industrial environments where highly pressurized air is required.


  • Simple Maintenance: We already covered the low cost installation because of piston design; however, maintenance is also much easier. Replacing parts within a piston is usually easier and cheaper than replacing, for example, the central screw in a screw compressor.


Disadvantages of a Piston Compressor

Despite the above advantages, piston compressors still have a number of disadvantages associated with them, making other designs more efficient in specific circumstances. These disadvantages include:


  • Damage: Because of the continual movement of the piston arm, there is far more friction in a piston compressor than in a rotary piston design. This continual movement results in damage and wear and tear over time. This is why piston arms are replaced more often than screw or scroll compressor components.


  • Pulsating Air: The piston arm moves up and down. This can create pulsation in the air flow in some piston compressors, making them less suitable for applications where continual, consistent flow is required.


  • Noise: Piston compressors are often much noisier than rotating compressors. The reason is because the piston moves up and down like a hammer. Scroll and screw compressors do not have this issue. This can also mean more vibrations, which could impact other equipment or people nearby in sensitive environments.


BOGE Kompressoren Piston Compressors

BOGE Singapore is proud to distribute our leading piston compressors to the Asia-Pacific region. Our oil lubricated piston compressors are excellent choices for industrial work and can be combined with filtration options to remove any oil particles if necessary.


If Class 0 air is required with no oil particulates, our oil-free PO Series brings piston technology into the 2020s with wear-resistant features, a compact design, and maximum efficiency.


The newly launched P-Series also comes with modularity, producing  up to 10bar (145PSIG), making it a perfect solution for tradespeople and others who require a compact compressor they can trust.