Pros and Cons of the Screw Compressor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Screw compressors are used for a variety of applications. They are a tried and tested compressor type which is reliable and efficient.

Pros and Cons of the Screw Compressor

However, there are other compressor designs available on the market. Some of those will be better suited to specific situations. BOGE offers a wide selection of all compressor types, but which one is best for you?


In this article, we are going to explore the pros and cons of the screw compressor – one of the most popular compressor types on the market. In doing so, we will highlight where screw compressors are best used and where other compressor designs are more desirable.


What is a Screw Compressor?

A screw compressor is a piece of equipment that produces compressed air. It does this through positive displacement. This simply means that pressure is created inside of the compressor, pushing air out of the outlet valve on the other side. The resulting air is then used to power tools and other equipment.


Screw compressors are also known as rotary compressors. This is because they use a rotating screw system that creates pressure differences between the screw's threads, resulting in a flow of compressed air.


Advantages of Screw Compressors

Screw compressors have a number of advantages over other compressor designs. For example, reciprocating or piston compressors use an up and down/motion to create pressure. However, when a piston is going through a down stroke movement, this expends energy without adding to the compressed air flow. Screw compressors use a shaft rotation, which means that all movement contributes to the compression of air. This is more efficient, producing pressure at a reduced cost.


Other advantages include:


  • Noise Levels: Due to the smooth movement of the rotating shaft, screw compressors produce much less noise. BOGE's patented whisper quiet technology reduces this noise further. In fact, some of our models produce as little as 69db.


  • No Pulsation: With a smooth rotating motion, a screw compressor produces a continual flow of air with no pulsing. Compressed air often pulses when created via piston compression.


  • Continuous Operation: Screw compressors are ideal for situations that require continuous operation rather than intermittent use.


  • Control Output: Because of the smooth flow rate, screw compressors offer simple and fluid control of air volume, making it one of the most precise designs in air compressor history.


  • Low Vibration: The rotational nature of the screw means that vibrations are minimal, making it an excellent solution for sensitive environments where vibrations can interfere with equipment.


  • No Abrasion: Unlike piston compressors, screw compressors have little wear and tear because of the continual, smooth rotation of the central screw shaft. This results in few repairs and even fewer replacements being needed.

Disadvantages of Screw Compressors

Although screw compressors are brilliant for some applications (which we will discuss below), they do have some disadvantages. These include:


  • Cost: Due to their more advanced design, screw compressors often cost more than their piston counterparts.


  • Intermittent Loads: The rotating, continual motion of a screw compressor is perfect for continual use, but it is not ideal for intermittent loads. Stopping and starting a screw compressor regularly can cause issues in some circumstances.


  • Maintenance: Although maintenance is less frequent for a screw compressor, it can also be more complicated. If something does need repaired, this can often result in the need for reassembly and alignment of the screw shaft. Screw compressors require precision performance, and so qualified technicians are preferential for such maintenance work.


When to Use a Screw Compressor

Taking the pros and cons into consideration, when should you opt for a screw compressor? The truth is, it depends on your specific needs. In general, screw compressors are a great option for industrial applications, especially considering their ability to run continually. This is why BOGE screw compressors are the workhorses of industry.


Our new S4 range of screw compressors takes these advantages and pushes them further, with phenomenal performance in mining, paint shop, and metal working environments, as well as in the oil and gas industry.


Buy the Best Screw Compressors

BOGE Singapore offers a wide selection of screw compressors to the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. With cutting edge technology, low maintenance costs, and ease-of-use, our screw compressors lead the way in terms of both efficiency and power. If you would like to learn more about our line of screw compressors, one of our trained advisors is waiting to answer any of your questions, today.