Compressor basics: reciprocating vs rotary screw air compressors

Even when two industrial air compressors appear to offer similar capabilities, different types of compressors have attributes that distinguish themselves from one another.

In this article we investigate the differences between two types of 11kW air compressor, the Ingersoll Rand 7100D15/8 reciprocating compressor vs. the Ingersoll Rand UP5-11CTAS-8-272 rotary screw compressor.

Below are the advantages of each:

Reciprocating Compressor

  • Ideal for intermittent compressed air needs, use to 70% duty.
  • Lower capital investment
  • Sound level of 89 dbA
  • Suitable for toughest applications
  • Simple maintenance
  • Designed for 15,000 hours of trouble-free use
  • Extended two year pump warranty available

Rotary Screw Compressor

  • Best for high volumes of constant air pressure – 100% duty
  • Higher capital investment
  • Lower sound: 69 dbA
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Small footprint – takes up less space to install
  • Integrated dryer for dry, clean air quality.
  • Designed for 25,000 hours of trouble free use
  • Routine maintenance includes lubricant and filter changes
  • Extended ten year package warranty available
Reciprocating vs Rotary Screw Air Compressors