Reducing energy consumption in refrigeration compressors

Paul Boughton
New rolling bearings for household appliances have been developed that reduce energy consumption in refrigeration compressors by up to five per cent. By using these energy efficient bearings, the overall energy efficiency rating of the compressor can be improved by one class.

The new FAG axial ball bearings from The Schaeffler Group are specifically matched to eccentric shaft bearings in refrigeration compressors, replacing the plain bearings that are normally used in these mounting positions.

Four types of FAG axial ball bearings are available, which can be freely combined. Both bearing washers can be supplied with or without raceways. Bearing cages are supplied in either sheet steel or plastic, matched to the operating environment. The bearing materials offer excellent compatibility with coolants and are resistant to varying temperatures.

The sheet steel cage has a special ‘filigree’ (twisted wire) design, which not only provides high rigidity, but is even more suitable than plastic cages for the high temperatures that occur in these bearing positions. In addition, coolant compatibility tests are no longer necessary.

The raceways in the axial washers provide even more secure guidance for the balls and improve load distribution and ball rotation. Overall, these characteristics result in a bearing that offers reduced wear and which has a longer operating life. Bearings with raceways on both sides are also available, which provide increased mounting security.

In the basic design, the axial bearing washers are punched, through-hardened and polished, and both sides can be used as raceways. The size of the bearing can be adapted to suit individual mounting locations.

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