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Pure refrigerant lubricated bearings from SKF

Using refrigerant as lubricant

Centrifugal compressors using low-viscosity refrigerants have traditionally been gear-driven designs that use hydrodynamic bearings lubricated with an oil-refrigerant mixture. This design requires both a lubrication system and an oil separator to provide an oil-rich mixture to the gears and bearings and a refrigerant-rich mixture to the evaporator and condenser.
Pure refrigerant lubricated bearings from SKF enable a much simpler direct-drive solution – they use the refrigerant as pure lubricant, a breakthrough that allows energy savings of at least 10% versus conventional centrifugal compressor designs. It also helps simplify system design and maintenance requirements. 

Field-tested for a decade and counting

Electromagnets hold the shaft in a levitated position so the shaft rotates without contact. A control system monitors shaft position and adjusts the current in the bearing coils to maintain stable control of the shaft. Oil, lubrication and contaminant-free, SKF magnetic bearings are very well suited for use in refrigeration compressors. As part of the SKF Magnetic System, SKF magnetic bearings help enable:
  • A 10%+ increase in energy efficiency vs. conventional bearings
  • Reduced maintenance demands and costs
  • No oil residue – zero contamination
  • Significant noise reduction
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