With the increasing demand for refrigerators, the compressors are resurging in popularity as well as in different variants. The compressor is the main segment of a fridge and with regards to buying one, you will have to be more selective.
But with so many options out there in the market and different manufacturers glibly claiming their ones are the best, how are you going to separate them? Or is it simply another advertising contrivance?
Rest assured… we have just the information you are looking for.
So without wasting more time, how about we get into it?
What is a Compressor?
Well, a compressor is considered to be the heart of the refrigerator which generally decides the cooling rating and the efficiency of the refrigerator. The compressor is the most important component in the refrigerator and hence ought to be purchased with some exceptional consideration.
It’s imperative to such an extent that it generally comes with a separate warranty from the rest of the refrigerator, but why? What’s the reason? Let’s look at it.
Basically, you can consider the compressor as a Pump. Meaning the basic function of the compressor is to pump, that is, increasing the pressure of the refrigerant—which is mostly in the liquid state.
So think of compressor the heart of the refrigerator where the arteries are the condenser and evaporator that pump the refrigerant (like blood) throughout the refrigerator (the body) to control the temperature. Thus maintaining a cool temperature and cooling the food or other items present inside the refrigerator.
Thus, a compressor is responsible for the circulation of the refrigerant throughout the refrigerator, in general, this is the same in any cooling appliance and the compressor plays a vital role.
How Does a Compressor Work?
As we know till now, the job of the compressor is to pump, meaning pumping the pressure of the refrigerant which is in a liquid state. So it pulls the air inside and increments the pressure of the refrigerant. The increased pressure results in the refrigerant heating up and transitioning in the gaseous state. As this gas is warmer than the air which is outside of the refrigerator, this gas is cooled and once again returns to the liquid state.
This liquid which has high-pressure is sent to the unit by the help of the coils while the refrigerant transitions into a gaseous state and absorbs all the heat from the air that is inside the refrigerator. When this happens the refrigerant is once again sent back to the compressor and guess what, the whole cycle starts again.
Practically the refrigerant is not exactly cooling the unit rather it is pulling out the heat from the refrigerator.
So in simple words, the refrigerant is changing its state from gas to liquid and back & forth, while expanding in the hot gaseous state it absorbs all the heat and goes back to the compressor which again squeezes it back to liquid. When reaching to the compressor it compresses the liquid then passes it to the coil where it releases heat. And the cycle or process keeps repeating.
Types of Compressors
Before choosing the best compressor for your refrigerator it is probably great that you get acclimatized to all the various compressors available out there in the Indian market. Be that as it may, depending upon your usage, needs, and on top of all your budget, the compressor may vary.
Piston compressors or otherwise known as Reciprocating Compressors consist of a cylinder and a piston. They are the most common compressor type available in the market and can be mostly found on all configurations as well as the power levels.
Reciprocating compressors are prone to the presence of liquid in the inlet and thus need to be frequently lubricated. If not, then it can cause damage to the valves.
The basic mechanism of these compressors follows – the piston creates a vacuum by moving back which leads the refrigerant inside to the evaporator coil. Similarly, when the piston moves forward it enlarges the pressure of the refrigerant and forces them to the condenser coil.
These compressors are compact as well as affordable, however, they have low power technology. They may come in inverter or non-inverter compressors.
Screw compressors or also known as Rotary Compressors are similar to the Piston compressors, where instead of having a piston which moves back and forth, they consist of a motor that moves in a circular motion. This motor does exactly the same job as the piston does, that is of compression the refrigerant and pushing it to the condenser coil.
As the name suggests, these compressors have a helical screw that rotates at a high-speed. They come in two variants, one is single screw compressors and the other is twin-screw compressors (which is not exactly used in refrigerators rather in air conditioners).
These compressors are excellent in terms of output, power (which is within the range of 20 to 1,200 kW) and durability. They have a good lifespan and great reliability, however, just like piston compressors, these ones should also be lubricated constantly to ensure better sealing between the parts.
With that being said, these compressors are generally on the costlier side and tend to take up more space than other types of compressors.
Centrifugal compressors rely on the kinetic energy that is created by rotating an impeller which increments the pressure of the refrigerant. These compressors mostly belong to higher technologies and are thus sometimes referred to as Dynamic Compressors.
As for the working of these compressors, it includes – the refrigerant enters the impeller wheel that is rotating, this rotation leads to the exertion of centrifugal force on the refrigerant. Thus, the pressure rises.
Since the force that is created by the impeller is relatively low, these compressors come in different series of impellers.
If you don’t know it yet, a conventional compressor shuts-off once the temperature of the refrigerators reaches a set threshold. When the temperature again increases, the compressors detect it and they start again.
This means that the compressors keep switching on and off, whenever the temperature crosses the threshold. So when the compressor is on, it is working at its full capacity and once the temperature is at the threshold, the compressor completely stops working.
This has many disadvantages, first of all, most of the wear and tear occurs during the on & off of the compressors. Secondly, it massively impacts the durability of the compressor. Lastly, the power consumption is high.
But as you might have guessed an inverter compressor addresses all of these disadvantages perfectly. So instead of completely shutting down the compressor when the temperature reaches the set threshold, it slows it down. This way not only does the compressor keep on running it also maintains the temperature as well as not consuming more power.
When the temperature goes below the threshold, the inverter compressor detects it and increases the speed till it reaches the desired temperature where once again the compressor slows down. Smart right?
For this to happen, the inverter compressor utilizes a motor—Brushless Direct Current or abbreviated to BDC that facilitates the compressor to run at different speeds.
Having said that, inverter compressors, in turn, come in various forms from different manufacturers, these forms are as follows.
- Digital Inverters:- Digital inverters use a microprocessor using some software providing different speed settings. These speed settings vary considering the temperature, humidity, as well as your usage.
- Smart Inverter:- This inverter is just the same as digital and has nothing extra in it, albeit the misleading name. The only place this inverter differs is the speed.
- Nutrifresh Inverter:- Besides being the same as digital inverter these inverters come with sensors that offer personalized cooling according to the type of food inside the refrigerator.
- Plasma Inverter:- These inverters are just the same as digital, however, has an extra coating of plasma on the compressor rod, which results in better durability and longevity. They are designed to last longer than other inverters.
- Intellisense Inverter:- This inverter comes with 3 sensors that do different jobs to ensure better control. First, one detects the temperature and gathers the information. The other one estimates the food load whilst the third sensor manages the speed.
- ProSmart Inverter:- These inverters are just like Varioinverters and save around 25% of energy.
- Vario Inverter:- Varioinverters are just like other inverters but are mostly made energy-efficient. And some companies manufacturing these inverters claim that it saves around 40% of energy.
- Linear Inverter:- These inverters are an upgraded version of inverter compressors and are more efficient and energy-saving. Not only that, but they are also known to keep the food fresh for a prolonged period in different environmental conditions.
Which is the Best Compressor for Refrigerator?
Okay, I get it These are all different types of compressors, but which one is used in the best refrigerators in India?
Well, all of the mentioned compressors are great one way or another, but which one is the most optimal for you depends on various factors and most important one is your budget. If you are not tied to budget then we would recommend you to go for inverter compressors or even linear compressors, they are costly but worth the penny you are spending.
On the other hand, it would be foolish to go all the way out of your budget, as the old saying goes “Cut your dress according to your cloth”. So for tight budget individuals, piston compressors or other similar like that will work wonders.
But if you can go the extra mile and invest in a better compressor then make sure to go for inverter compressors or linear compressors or plasma compressors. As they are not only durable but also flexible and reliable.
That’s it folks, if you are with us up till now, then, first of all, thank you for reading and secondly make sure that you pay extra attention when selecting a compressor. As by now, it is pretty much obvious that a compressor plays a crucial role in a refrigerator.
Just a friendly reminder, if you can splurge on selecting the compressor make sure to choose inverter compressors or the ones we’ve mentioned. They are efficient, durable, and top of all long-lasting.