Reciprocating compressors are often used in connection with cooling systems. A reciprocating compressor draws in coolant fumes in portions, while other compressor types draw continually.
The principle of a reciprocating compressor is illustrated in the figure.
Reciprocal compressors can be divided into open, semi-hermetic, and hermetic. In an open compressor, the compressor and motor are separated, and therefore connected with an axle or V-belt. As the compressor and motor are separated, the compressor can be used with ammonia as the coolant.
In semi-hermetic and hermitic compressors, the motor and compressor are built together with a common axle. V-belt connections, axle couplings, shaft seals, and so on are therefore not necessary. With the compressor and motor being built together, ammonia cannot be used as the coolant.
The cooling output of cooling systems can be regulated by adjusting compressor performance. Reciprocating compressors are regulated using on/off controls. Compressors with multiple cylinders can be regulated by disengaging one or more cylinders.