The type of mechanical drive (including gears) that is used may influence the choice of compressor.

Compressor and drive speeds are very pertinent if one wishes to avoid gearing. The accompanying table 1.1 provides speed ranges of the most common types of compressors and drives. There are specially designed units, however, that do not fall within the ranges listed. One of these, for example, is a carbon dioxide compressor with a suction volume of approximately 50 acfm at the last wheel, which rotates at 25,000 rpm and delivers gas at 5,000 psi. The tip speed of this compressor’s impeller is approximately 650 ft/sec. The compressor itself is directly driven by a specially designed 1,000-hp steam turbine.

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