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Media / Local company news / Six Advantages of Enclosed Compressors: Maintenance to Profitability

Six Advantages of Enclosed Compressors: Maintenance to Profitability


For many years, rotary screw compressors have been offered in two basic structural types: with an enclosure and without. Although the initial capacity and energy efficiency performance characteristics are the same between the two machine types, there are many fundamental differences, some of which may affect long-term performance.

This article was written by Mike Sons, product marketing manager – >125 hp oil-injected screw compressors.

The Advantages

Atlas Copco USA - Enclosed Compressors
A typical enclosed compressor is designed with body and roof panels that create a protective cabinet around critical components. There are several advantages to this design.

  1. Quiet operation. The body and roof panels of enclosed compressors typically utilize sound-attenuating material in their construction, which contributes to a reduction in sound. Without the sound-dampening effects of a cabinet, hearing protection is usually required while in the compressor room or when working near the non-enclosed compressor.
  2. Longer service intervals. Enclosed compressors keep critical components, such as the motor, coolers, and filters, safe and fairly clean. With a non-enclosed compressor, the critical components are susceptible to excessive dirt and moisture since there is no protective cabinet, which can result in shorter service intervals and higher maintenance costs.
  3. Simple ducting. Because enclosures are typically designed with cooling air inlet and outlet grates, ducting can be attached easily. Ducting is recommended in applications where the environment is excessively dirty, wet, cold, or hot. It allows the compressor to bring in the cooling and inlet air from a separate location where the air is more desirable, as well as to exhaust the air into another location.
  4. Appropriate levels of cooling air increase energy efficiency. Enclosures are designed to pull cooling air through the machine, allowing the motor and other “hot” components to receive ample amounts of cooling air. In a non-enclosed structure, there is no cooling air being directed across hot components, which could prevent the motor and other critical components from cooling to the desired level. When components continually operate at a high temperature, it can sacrifice the longevity of the components as well as decrease energy efficiency.
  5. No risk of dangerous oil leaks. Enclosed air compressors typically feature oil-containing frames which capture any oil leaks, eliminating hazardous slippery floors and oil spots.
  6. TEFC motors. Some air compressor manufacturers offer “totally enclosed fan-cooled” (TEFC) motors as standard equipment. TEFC motors keep the motor windings cool, clean, and dry, which extends the life of the motor and often results in better energy efficiency. Many non-enclosed air compressors use open drip-proof (ODP) motors in their design. ODP motors are more susceptible to dirt, moisture, and overheating, which could result in premature motor failure.

The main disadvantage of an enclosed compressor is ease of maintenance, because the door panels must be opened or removed in order to work on the machine. However, this drawback can be minimized with additional service features, such as optimal placement of filters and other serviceable components, hinged cooling fans, and slide-out coolers.

Learn more about Atlas Copco’s oil-injected screw compressors, or fill out our below form and an Atlas Copco representative will be in touch with you shortly.

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