Rotary Screw Compressor Buyer's Guide
How to Pick The Perfect Rotary Screw Compressor
You work hard and expect the same from your tools and equipment.
When it comes to air compressors, nothing outworks a rotary screw compressor. These workhorses are designed to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 52 weeks a year - for many years.
If you're serious about your work, upgrade to a rotary screw air compressor!
Why Go Rotary?
- Get the Job Done Faster
You’ll never have to wait for your compressor to play “catch up” again. With a 100% duty cycle, they are designed to run continuously without overheating — saving you time (and a headache).
- Use it Longer
Because the internal rotors are oil-sealed, parts last years longer and maintain the same performance throughout the compressor’s life.
The internal screws don’t touch — meaning no friction, less maintenance, and fewer replacements on your investment.
If you run a business, don’t subject your employees (or customers) to uncomfortably loud and potentially unsafe environments. Rotary screw compressors run quietly, so they can be mounted close to workspaces without requiring hearing protection.
Cost and Energy Savings
Although the upfront cost may be higher than reciprocating compressors, what you'll get is longer working life, increased capabilities, and the dependability only superior rotary screw technology can provide.
Over time, rotary screw compressors pay for themselves by running cleaner and more efficiently, meaning you’ll have to spend much less on filters, replacement parts, and accessories — all while enjoying a longer compressor life.
With reciprocating (piston) type air compressors, the cost of energy required to run it can exceed the purchase price in one year, while rotary screw compressors will amount to roughly 70% of the purchase price in about 10 years!
Many of our rotary screw models are even Energy Star rated, using 20-30% less energy than federal standards.
How They Work
The rotary screw compressor gets its name from the way they are powered.
As air enters a sealed chamber, it is trapped and squeezed between two (helically-opposed) rotating screws. As the screws inter-mesh, they reduce the volume of trapped air and deliver it compressed, at the proper pressure level.
Rotary Screw Considerations
- Horsepower (HP) - One HP is the force needed to lift 550 lbs. one foot per second.
- Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) - CFM is the amount (volume) of air velocity that passes through a medium. Think of a water hose where you can measure the quantity of water that is possible to pass through in one minute.
- Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) - PSI is the measure of pressure that a compressor can produce (in pounds) per square inch of space.
Going back to our water hose example, PSI would be the amount of pressure at which the water (or air) comes out of the hose. Without a nozzle, it may trickle out, while one with a fine tip can blast grime out of concrete.
If you ever had a kink in a line, then you would experience no CFM, while pressure behind the kink (PSI), would be building and possibly rupture the line.
It's important to pay attention to both CFM and PSI requirements of air equipment so you choose a powerful enough compressor for the job.
- Electrical Phase - You need to choose single-phase or three-phase. Single-phase electricity is found in residential settings while three-phase electricity is most typically found in industrial locations & settings.
Consult with your electrician and local codes to determine which type you have.
Choose Your Speed for Even More Savings
Variable Speed Drive (VSD) rotary screw compressors change the frequency and voltage feeding the motor, increasing its efficiency by calculating air compression needs instantly. Simply put, it only uses the energy required for the task at hand and doesn’t overwork your machine by wasting power.
VSD compressors work best when sized correctly and are used for the correct applications. Keep in mind that these units are more sensitive to dirty work environments and should be properly protected.
Should I Buy?
If you're tired of your piston compressor not working as hard as you do, then do yourself a favor and upgrade. With a Rotary Screw compressor, you'll get speed, longevity, quieter jobs, and energy savings over time. For a little more, you can get a VSD compressor that maximizes efficiency even further.
Take your compressor needs to the next level and check out our Rotary Screw selection.