A gas compressor is a device designed to increase the pressure of a gas by mechanically decreasing its volume. Typically, a compressor is similar in design to a liquid pump. While these two devices are mechanically similar, they are quite functionally distinct due to the differing properties of materials which they operate upon.
While liquid pumps are designed to act upon liquids (which are relatively difficult to compress), compression of the liquid is only marginal and has the effect of moving the fluid through an open outlet. By contrast, gas compressors make use of the inherent compressibility of gases and have their outlet coupled to a closed container in order to facilitate a pressure increase as the machine is operated. In this way, gas compressors can be used to store large amounts of gas for significant periods of time, without the vast amounts of space required for their storage at atmospheric pressure.
DC compressors are powered by direct current, the form of current which originates from car batteries and most small transformers designed to be plugged into the mains. By contrast, AC compressors can operate either directly from mains power or from a portable generator system, but cannot be operated using batteries. Because of this in-built support for portable power systems, DC compressors are the items of choice for applications which require protection from power failure, and thus use batteries as their backup, or for systems in which freedom from the constraints of mains electricity is essential, such as camping trips or car journeys.
While compressors can be used to enable storage and containment of gases, they can also be used to pump refrigerants through the pipework of a cool box, or a larger system, in order that the contents be kept cool. This is of vital importance for specially designed fridges and cold rooms, for which standard refrigeration systems are not well suited.
As well as being much easier to implement for mobile applications, DC compressors really come into their own when powered by green sources, such as stored electricity generated by the use of solar panels
. This green technology is perfect for long trips in which charging batteries from your vehicle's engine is not the most efficient option. In summary, DC compressors can be a welcome adjunct to any projects requiring not only refrigeration or gas compression, but to those in which mobility, compatibility and portability are key.