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The Truth about Centrifugal Compressors

Centrifugal Pump

One of the most interesting machines that we’ve helped industries with over our 75+ years of service is the industrial centrifugal compressor.  Many people do not know the truth about centrifugal compressors, both in terms of how they work and the benefits they bring to businesses, aside from their simplicity and longevity of service.  The truth about centrifugal compressors is that they are extremely valuable to businesses for several other reasons.


Industrial centrifugal machines are built to last.  The reliability and long-term life of the equipment are necessary, especially given the usage they receive from large industrial verticals and companies like power plants, steel mills, automotive plants and refineries.  These customers require dependable performance, but also reliable equipment, like centrifugal compressors.  They are reliable due to their ability to be effectively cooled with water, making them versatile for any condition.  With a life-span over 30-years, the amount of time these machines will last depends heavily on the dedicated maintenance shown to them, which brings about another benefit of centrifugal machines. 


Another truth about industrial centrifugal compressors is that they are easy to maintain.  Similar to a vehicle in your fleet, checking and changing the oil and oil filters on a routine basis makes it simple to keep them functioning properly.  If the machines pass the major inspections, which should occur in 5-year intervals, the machines can be easily put back into service and pick up right where they left off.  Unlike other large machines’ inspections that yield a significant amount of downtime, industrial centrifugal compressors are easy to inspect and get back into the production fold.  This helps to maximize the revenue producing potential of the machine while saving on the maintenance and operating costs.


There are a variety of ways having an industrial centrifugal compressor lends itself to lower operating costs.  First of all, and most obviously, maintaining less equipment is less expensive in general.  Owning and operating a centrifugal compressor can replace the need for multiple rotary compressors.  Centrifugal machines do not require a special oil to operate, nor do they have separators to change every year, saving on costs. 

From an energy perspective, the use of a single centrifugal compressor is more efficient than running multiple rotary compressors.  Furthermore, the typical centrifugal compressors utilize three-stage compression, which is always more efficient than a single-stage rotary.  Finally, oil-flooded rotary compressors typically have to run at higher pressures in order to overcome pressure losses through filtration.  The higher pressures mean that more kilowatts are consumed, requiring more energy to operate.  However, oil free centrifugal compressors are more efficient due to their inherent design.


We are all looking for ways to have a green footprint on our world.  The centrifugal compressor produces ISO Class 0 compressed air. This means there is NO oil in the compression process and therefore no oil in the air stream that it emits. This helps with quality downstream if the compressed air is used to touch other products, but also reduces the overall environmental impact of the facility by not producing condensate that contains oil.  Finally, because oil is not used in the compression process, less is used and, as a result, it is less taxing on the fossil fuels that other machines need to function.

The truth about centrifugal machines is that they offer more benefits to companies, outside of their intrinsic capabilities.  The lower operating costs and maintenance requirements, as well as their reliability in both productivity and in offering a clean alternative for our environmental footprint, are benefits any company can experience.  At Dearing, we always look to partner with the best equipment and experts to make your business more reliable and efficient.  If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business with centrifugal compressors, contact us and see how, with partners like Hanwha Power Systems, we continue to be the most trusted name in compressors and pumps for over 75 years.


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