Inverter compressor in the refrigerator: what is it, principle of operation, differences from linear

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Until recent­ly, only lin­ear com­pres­sors were installed in refrig­er­a­tors. Today, many man­u­fac­tur­ers of such refrig­er­a­tion equip­ment are begin­ning to intro­duce invert­er com­pres­sors, the prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion, the pros and cons of which you will learn fur­ther.

What is an inverter compressor?

This is a device with which you can adjust the speed val­ue to obtain a suf­fi­cient amount of cold. If three com­pres­sors were pre­vi­ous­ly installed in the refrig­er­a­tion unit, then with this type of com­pres­sor, only one appa­ra­tus will be required. It turns on with­out over­loads and pow­er surges, dur­ing its oper­a­tion ener­gy is saved.

inverter compressor

Invert­er com­pres­sors gen­er­ate alter­nat­ing cur­rent, and it affects the rota­tion of the rotor. As soon as it enters the device, an alter­nat­ing mag­net­ic field is formed inside it, act­ing on the rotor, and not on the coils, the EMF is direct­ed. Elec­tro­mag­nets appear inside the appa­ra­tus, which, when cap­tured by a mag­net­ic field, set in motion an asyn­chro­nous motor.

The com­pres­sor itself plays the role of the “heart mus­cle” of the steel cool­er — when the device is start­ed, it imme­di­ate­ly accel­er­ates to max­i­mum pow­er, and then its speed decreas­es.

The principle of operation of the inverter compressor

A refrig­er­a­tor with such a com­press has the fol­low­ing prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion:

  1. After receiv­ing a sig­nal from the tem­per­a­ture sen­sor, the motor starts — the invert­er com­pres­sor starts to work under the influ­ence of the refrig­er­ant.
  2. As soon as the required tem­per­a­ture is reached, the sen­sor sends a sig­nal to stop work­ing, but the engine does not com­plete­ly stop, but reduces the inten­si­ty and speed of rev­o­lu­tions.
  3. The refrig­er­ant cir­cu­la­tion speed is reduced, but the sys­tem con­tin­ues to cool, so the tem­per­a­ture in the refrig­er­a­tor remains at the set point, nei­ther falling nor ris­ing.
  4. When a cer­tain part of the air escapes when the door is opened, the tem­per­a­ture in the cham­ber ris­es, and the sen­sor sends a sig­nal to the motor about the dis­crep­an­cy. Since the com­pres­sor has not stopped its work, the sys­tem does not start up again to restore the tem­per­a­ture regime, but only increas­es the num­ber of rev­o­lu­tions. So, the invert­er com­pres­sor is con­stant­ly run­ning, but with dif­fer­ent pow­er — depend­ing on the sen­sor sig­nals.

It is worth not­ing that refrig­er­a­tors with a lin­ear com­pres­sor oper­ate at max­i­mum pow­er, and when the cool­ing tem­per­a­ture you set is reached, the sen­sors give the appro­pri­ate sig­nal and the engine auto­mat­i­cal­ly turns off. This process is con­trolled by a spe­cial relay, under the pres­sure of which, when the engine is turned on and off, a click is trig­gered, and a char­ac­ter­is­tic hum of the engine is heard.

inverter compressor

There­fore, the dif­fer­ence in the prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of an invert­er com­pres­sor from a lin­ear one is that it does not imply a com­plete shut­down when the set cool­ing tem­per­a­ture is reached, but sim­ply reduces the num­ber and inten­si­ty of rev­o­lu­tions.

Pros and cons of an inverter compressor

The strengths of the invert­er com­pres­sor in the refrig­er­a­tor are as fol­lows:

  • Large ener­gy sav­ings (stat­ed that by 50%) — com­pared with lin­ear com­pres­sors by 10–20%. This is due to the fact that the invert­er com­pres­sor only works at full capac­i­ty when it is first turned on, after which the speed decreas­es, and only the set cool­ing tem­per­a­ture is main­tained.
  • Increased ser­vice life of the parts involved in this scheme, since, unlike a lin­ear com­pres­sor, the device does not warm up and does not fail after a cer­tain time. All this leads to an increase in the life of the refrig­er­a­tor — man­u­fac­tur­ers give a guar­an­tee for it for 10 years.
  • The low noise lev­el of its oper­a­tion both at start-up and dur­ing tem­per­a­ture adjust­ment due to the low speed of the device. The max­i­mum refrig­er­a­tion unit with such a com­pres­sor can emit 38 deci­bels.
  • Main­tain­ing the opti­mal lev­el of humid­i­ty inside the refrig­er­a­tor. This leads to an increase in the peri­od of stor­age of prod­ucts in it, more­over, in this mode, more use­ful sub­stances are stored in them.

The refrig­er­a­tor with an invert­er device has a beau­ti­ful design and can organ­i­cal­ly fit into any inte­ri­or of the kitchen area. It con­tains the lat­est devel­op­ments for opti­mal food stor­age.

Advantages of an inverter compressor

But with such impor­tant advan­tages in the invert­er instal­la­tion, there are still a cou­ple of dis­ad­van­tages:

  • Response to volt­age drops. Elec­tri­cal fail­ures adverse­ly affect the oper­a­tion of the com­pres­sor. To reduce the risk of its fail­ure, you need to addi­tion­al­ly pur­chase a volt­age sta­bi­liz­er. With­out it, the refrig­er­a­tor dur­ing seri­ous jumps can sim­ply turn off and no longer start.
  • Price. Nat­u­ral­ly, mod­els with this type of com­pres­sor will cost more, so they are not avail­able to many. But giv­en that the refrig­er­a­tor is pur­chased for a long time and the pur­chase quick­ly pays off by reduc­ing the pay­ment for elec­tric­i­ty, it is worth buy­ing a worth­while thing with­out hes­i­ta­tion.

Comparison of Linear and Inverter Compressor

To choose the type of com­pres­sor, it is worth tak­ing into account the com­par­a­tive table of char­ac­ter­is­tics:

Cri­te­ri­on Descrip­tion
Device resource The life of a lin­ear com­pres­sor is lim­it­ed, while its invert­er coun­ter­part has spe­cial motors that do not have brush­es, which adverse­ly affect the dura­tion of the unit.
Cur­rent val­ue when start­ing the device When the device is start­ed, its max­i­mum val­ue is observed. The lin­ear com­pres­sor, by virtue of its work, expe­ri­ences it much more often than the invert­er type of this motor.
Net­work load In the lin­ear ver­sion, ener­gy con­sump­tion is clear­ly nor­mal­ized, so there are peak surges that are poten­tial­ly dan­ger­ous for all oth­er house­hold appli­ances in the home if they occur at the time of simul­ta­ne­ous pow­er take-off. When using refrig­er­a­tors with an invert­er type, there are no such prob­lems.
Degree of noise at work The lin­ear device con­stant­ly uses the max­i­mum pow­er lev­el, which is also accom­pa­nied by an audi­ble click­ing of the relay, which leads to a lot of noise. The invert­er type of the device works almost silent­ly.
Adjust­ment With smooth tem­per­a­ture con­trol, all cir­cuits and sen­sors work con­stant­ly, and a sta­ble val­ue of the set para­me­ters is also main­tained in both the lin­ear and invert­er ver­sions.
Wear of com­pres­sor parts The low pow­er used dur­ing the oper­a­tion of mov­ing struc­tures in the invert­er appa­ra­tus increas­es its ser­vice life, since its parts are not sub­ject­ed to sig­nif­i­cant loads.

To under­stand exact­ly which of the vari­eties is bet­ter, you can com­pare them with the oper­a­tion of the engine in a car when it over­comes dif­fer­ent road­ways. So, the lin­ear com­pres­sor works like a car that over­comes bumpy ter­rain, and the invert­er ana­log rush­es along a straight, smooth track.

Mas­ters take note! Step-by-step instruc­tions on how to check the com­pres­sor in the refrig­er­a­tor.

Video review of the inverter compressor

The video shows a cut-up device tak­en from a Sam­sung refrig­er­a­tor. With this con­sid­er­a­tion, all its run­ning parts will be vis­i­ble: the shaft and the pis­ton, as well as the sta­tors, bear­ing, rotor. When cut­ting the com­pres­sor, you can see that there are sev­er­al wind­ings inside. His fail­ure occurred as a result of a break in one of them. After seal­ing it, the device worked again:

Now lin­ear com­pres­sor freez­ers are still pop­u­lar, but this is only because of their low price com­pared to the invert­er type. New devel­op­ments are becom­ing more and more acces­si­ble, and their main mech­a­nism is in demand not only in refrig­er­a­tors, but also in wash­ing machines, air con­di­tion­ers and oth­er house­hold appli­ances.


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