They include reciprocating compressors, centrifugal compressors, scroll compressors, screw compressors, vane compressors, etc.
Reciprocating refrigeration compressors have pistons moving inside a cylinder in an up and down fashion. They have the advantage of ability to create high compression ratios but suffer from noise and low efficiency. Centrifugal compressors use radial flow of vapour for compression.
They have blades mounted on a rotating shaft that create the radial flow. They can handle large volume of vapour but the compression ratio is low.
As reciprocating compressors using pistons and valves are noisy, they are being replaced by scroll compressors.
Scroll compressors are durable and more efficient than reciprocating compressors. They are widely used as refrigeration compressors.
Depending on the type of application, like white goods, mobile refrigeration, light commercial refrigeration, commercial refrigeration, air conditioning etc. and the type of refrigerant used the right compressor with the right capacity needs to be chosen for a given application.
For example, for mobile applications, small DC hermetic compressors are used while large scroll compressors do the job for large commercial air conditioning or industrial application.
Refrigeration compressors that operate both with both Direct Current (9.6V to 31.5 V) and Alternating Current (85 VAC to 265 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz) are available.