Centrifugal compressor technology explained


Discover our complete range of centrifugal compressors designed for industries and applications that require a large supply of compressed air or gas.

What are centrifugal compressors used for?
Companies that require a large supply of compressed air use our tried and tested centrifugal technology. At the heart of each machine is an individually designed impeller. 

That’s right: each machine is optimized for its power range. Each pressure variant has its own optimized impeller.  These impellers are built to last, which makes the centrifugal compressor a very reliable unit.

Centrifugal compressors are active in various industries: automotive, food, pharma, textile, power, renewable energy, wastewater treatment, the chemical industry and oil and gas.

How to choose between oil-free screw and centrifugal technology?
A very popular answer to this question is to select screw technology for best energy efficiency at lower flows and centrifugal technology for the higher flow demands. To advise the customer on the best technology fit, we have to look at the customer’s application.

It all starts from our customer’s need. For sure, the energy efficiency will play a role in the final selection, yet other parameters like the compressed air demand profile will have to be taken into account as well. Applications that show a fluctuating air demand will benefit more from the wide turndown capabilities of a variable speed driven oil-free screw, while centrifugal units typically would be a better fit on more steady flow demand patterns.

In most cases, the optimum selection is a combination of the 2: An oil-free centrifugal unit taking care of the base load combined with a variable speed driven oil-free screw unit to handle the fluctuating top load. This combo, together with our heat-of-compression dryers, forms a winning team, unique in the compressed air industry, providing ourselves and our customers the guarantee for success.

Benefits of our centrifugal air compressors

  • Around-the-clock reliability
  • Energy-efficient solution due to multi-speed capability for optimal speed on each stage
  • Economical compressor technology
  • Noise-reducing canopy
  • Highly efficient cooler
  • Smallest possible footprint

How does a centrifugal compressor work?
centrifugal working principleZoom in
The working principle of a centrifugal compressor

By adding kinetic energy to air particles and abruptly slowing them down, you build up pressure.

By doing this in several stages, you can go up to 13 bar in lower compression machinery.

And as high as 205 bar in 4-8 stage high compression turbomachinery, also known as multi-stage centrifugal compressors.

1 -stage: up to 2.5 bar
2 -stages: 2.5 bar to 5.5 bar
3 -stages : 6 bar to 13 bar
4-8 stages up to 205 bar
The core of the stage centrifugal compressor consists of 3 elements;

Impeller: The air flow enters the impeller, where the rotating blades increase the kinetic energy of the air

Diffuser: The diffuser manipulates the air flow by gradually slowing down the air velocity and converting the kinetic energy into pressure. 

Volute:  The diffuser discharges in the collector – shaped as a snail shell- also known as the volute. In the volute, the air flow from the diffuser is collected and distributed to an outlet pipe.

What types of centrifugal compressors are there?
We provide standardized or custom-engineered centrifugal compressor solutions.

centrifugal blowers with pressures up to 1.5 bar.
oil-free air centrifugal compressors cores- up to 13 bar
process gas multistage cores up to 205 bar
Within the centrifugal compressors category, 3 main configurations are available:

  • An axial multistage is running at a relatively low speed, mostly direct driven by an induction motor. Multiple impellers are lined up axially after each other to gradually build up the pressure.
  • Geared turbos are driven by an induction motor rotating at a relatively low speed. The radial impeller(s) are running at a high speed due to a gearbox transmission. Special bearings are required for these high speeds, mostly hydrodynamic bearings are used. Either single or multiple impellers can be installed depending on the required pressure and or flow.
  • Highspeed turbos are radial turbos without the presence of any gears. The motor is directly driving the impeller. This means the motor needs to run at high speeds, requiring Permanent Magnet motor technology. To be reliable at these high speeds, magnetic bearings are used to avoid any contact or wear.

1. Oil-free air centrifugal blowers- up to 1.5 bar
In sensitive industrial applications, a reliable supply of oil-free air at lower pressures from 300 mbar (g) to 1.5 bar (g) is needed.
Oil-free air centrifugal blowers need to meet the rigorous standards expected in :

  • Wastewater treatment
  • Food & Beverage
  • Chemicals and Petrochemicals
  • Textiles
  • General industry
  • Power industry
  • Mining

Variety of centrifugal blower solutions

There’s more than one configuration we can provide to meet the requirement of your application. No two projects are the same. We realize that the initial investment cost or the total cost of ownership can also be a deciding factor.
Our multistage centrifugal blowers are providing a simple, reliable solution that requires a lower initial investment. Our highly efficient high-speed centrifugal blowers ensure the lowest total cost of ownership.