Motor for pipeline system to deliver cold water into the production process

How Does a Vane Type Compressor Work and What Are Its Applications?

You may be aware that air compression operates on two fundamental principles, one of which is displacement compression. Various compressor types exist within this category, including the lesser-known vane compressor. Like many compressed air expansion motors, the vane compressor operates through a specific mechanism. Typically crafted from specialized cast alloys, the vanes get lubricated with oil in most instances. Here’s how it works: a rotor, housing radial vanes shaped like movable blades, is eccentrically positioned within a stator housing. As the rotor rotates, centrifugal force pushes the vanes against the stator walls, causing air intake as the gap between the rotor and stator widens. This air then gets captured within different compressor pockets, which diminishes volume during rotation. Finally, the air gets expelled when the vanes pass the outlet port.


Use Cases

Keep in mind that the rotor comes equipped with longitudinal slots designed to secure the vanes. As the rotor rotates, centrifugal force causes the vanes to extend outward, making contact with the inner walls of the cylinder. During this process, the vanes capture a gas pocket from the compressor inlet. As the rotor continues its rotation, the eccentricity of its design reduces the volume of the trapped gas pocket, effectively compressing it. Compression persists until the foremost vane reaches the discharge port, releasing the compressed gas. Notably, the vane compressor boasts a direct oil injection feature and a sturdy design, making it capable of handling challenging gas streams. Here’s a breakdown of its primary applications:

1. Oil and Gas

  • Tank Vapor Recovery
  • Flare Gas Recovery
  • Casing Gas

2. Biogas

  • Organic Waste Digester
  • Landfill Gas
  • Waste Water Treatment Plant

3. Industrial Process Gas

  • Syn Gas (waste-to-energy)
  • Butadiene
  • Hydrogen Recovery

4. Vacuum Services

  • Condenser Services
  • Vegetable Chilling with Vacuum Cooling
  • Vacuum Stripping

While vane compressors are versatile and efficient, it’s important to note their limitations. They are best suited for hydrocarbon and process gas rather than general air compression. If you require an air compressor for a workshop, it’s advisable to consider other options. Many other compressor manufacturers offer plug-and-play systems that are better suited for such applications.

Vane compressors excel when consistent, dry, and oil-free compressed air is required, making them ideal for various industrial processes. However, their design and construction make them less practical for intermittent use or in environments with high levels of particulate matter.

Reciprocating and rotary screw compressors are often more suitable choices for workshop settings due to their ruggedness, ease of maintenance, and ability to handle varying air demands. When selecting a compressor, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate your specific needs, operating conditions, and long-term cost implications.


How Long to Use Vane Blades?

The longevity of vane blades correlates directly with the intensity of the application. Factors such as elevated pressure differentials, increased temperatures, higher operating speeds, and contaminants in the gas stream contribute to accelerated blade wear. To optimize blade lifespan and prevent unexpected failures, monitoring wear and establishing a baseline for predicting the ideal replacement timing is crucial. Assuming the compressor is adequately lubricated in a standard setup, vane blades typically endure for at least two years before replacement becomes necessary.

In 1930, Allis Chalmers created the Ro-Flo Compressor. Originally developed as a plant air compressor, Ro-Flo Compressors later became recognized as the world leader in handling heavy, dirty and corrosive gasses.