Figure 9-81 shows how the spiral-shaped members fit together. Abetter view is shown in Fig. 9-82. The two members fit together forming crescent-shaped gas pockets. One member remains stationary, while the second member is allowed to orbit relative to the stationary member.
This movement draws gas into the outer pocket created by the two members, sealing off the open passage. As the spiral motion continues, the gas is forced toward the center of the scroll form. As the pocket continuously becomes smaller in volume it creates increasingly higher gas pressures. At the center of the pocket, the high-pressure gas is discharged from the port of the fixed scroll member. During the cycle, several pockets of gas are compressed simultaneously. This provides a smooth, nearly continuous compression cycle.
This results in a 10 to 15 percent more efficient operation than with the piston compressors. A smooth, continuous compression process means very low flow losses. No valves are required. This eliminates all valve losses. Suction and discharge locations are separate. This substantially reduces heat transfer between suction and discharge gas. There is no reexpansion volume. This increases the compressor’s heat pump capacity in low-ambient operation. Increased heat pump capacity in low ambient temperatures reduces the need for supplemental heat when temperatures drop.
During summer, this means less cycling at moderate temperatures. It also allows better dehumidification to keep the comfort level high. When temperatures rise, the scroll compressor provides increased capacity for more cooling.
During the winter, the scroll compressor heat pumps deliver more warm air to the conditioned space than conventional models.