The most commonly used Reciprocating compressors with varying pressure ranges. These are simple in design with almost very little automation. The cylinders of various stages are found in a straight line when seen from top.
These Reciprocating In-line compressors are commonly direct driven by electric motors or diesel engines. This type of compressor uses piston-cylinder arrangement to compress the air. Whenever something moves back and forth it is considered as moving in reciprocating motion.
Similarly in this type piston move back and forth inside the cylinder and compress the air. There are two sets of valves that take care of air intake and exhaust.
Engineering-The compressor takes inside successive amount of volume of air from intake valve and confined it in closed surface at that time piston moves downward with the closure of intake valve.
Then there is compression of air by reducing its volume .Now the piston moves upward and compress the air and then displace the compressed air through exhaust valve. And then again intake take place and cycle repeat itself.This type of compressor also called positive displacement machines. They are available in both as lubricated and oil-free.
The reciprocating compressor is single acting when the compressing is accomplished using only one side of piston and double acting when both the sides of piston used.
The reciprocating compressor generally seen where there is requirement of high pressure and low flow(or discontinuous flow up to 30 bars).Mostly where the air is used for hand-tools, cleaning dust,small paint jobs, commercial uses,etc.