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Comparison of Open type Compressors with Semi-hermetic type 1.

In case of open type compressor chillers, the most common problem is failure of shaft seal assembly and leakage of refrigerant. Cost of refrigerant gas lost is quite high and is a recurring cost for open type chillers. Semi-hermetic chillers do not need any shaft seal assembly, because the compressor and the motor are mounted on a common shaft and in a common housing. Hence, there is no chance of leakage of costly refrigerant gas through the seals. Motors used for Open compressors are air-cooled and hence generally operate in a temperature range of 40 ~ 50oC. This reduces the efficiency and reliability of the motors. Semi-hermetic compressor motors are refrigerant gas cooled. Hence, they operate at a stable operating temperature of about 15 - 20oC. This ensures high efficiency and reliability of the compressor motor. Motors of Open compressors have to be erected and assembled at site. This requires precise alignment of the motor and compressor. Any misalignment will damage the coupling / shaft seal and it might become a routine maintenance nuisance. This problem does not arise in case of Semi-hermetic compressors. Motors of Open compressors reject heat in the plant room. Proper plant room ventilation is mandatory to protect the motor from overheating and maintain the plant room temperatures. In case of Semi-hermetic motors plant room ventilation is not necessary as the motor heat is rejected directly into the cooling tower. Semi-hermetic chillers are very quiet in operation as compared to open chillers and do not disturb the surrounding premises. The normal difference in the db level is approx. 5 ~ 6 db. With many redundant safety features built in the system like overheat and overload protection, Semi-hermetic motors do not face serious problems. However, in rare cases of motor problems, these can be attended at site due to the simplicity in construction. Open type chillers normally require heavy foundations and grouting to be done at site. Semi-hermetic chillers are factory assembled and mounted on the structure / skid and do not require any foundation or grouting. All over the world the industrial standard has been to use Semi-hermetic chillers for Air-conditioning applications. That is why most of the international manufacturers have discontinued manufacture of open type compressors.

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