Embraco’s Wisemotion compressor is built on over 10 years of research and development and an investment of over $40m.
A linear compressor has no crank mechanism and its piston is oscillated by linear motor and helical coil spring. While linear motors have previously been used, notably by LG, this is the first time that an oil-less version has been available globally.
The technology provides modulation simply by varying the compressor stroke by means of a variable voltage power device. These are considerably less expensive than variable frequency devices. Also, as there is no crankshaft, linear compressors are said to suffer less friction loss and wear problems than conventional compressors.
Linear compressots are more compact and the fact that these are oil-less allows them to be used in any orientation within the fridge, allowing better use of space. They are also said to be less noisy than conventional hermetics and are up to 20% more efficient. It also requires 20% less refrigerant charge and promises more stable refrigerator temperatures.
The technology was first announced by Embraco in 2010 when the Brazilian manufacturer said it had been working on developing the technology in conjunction with Fisher & Paykel, a major appliance manufacturer in New Zealand.
At the worldwide launch yesterday (Wednesday) at its headquarters in Joinville, Brazil, Lainor Driessen, vice president of R&D and operations said “The Wisemotion is the first compressor without oil coolers for the world, which brings a number of benefits to the quality of life of people with versatility and modularity, ensuring at least 20 years of life to the fridge.”
The first units are thought to be destined for the US market with output predicted to reach 1.5 million next year from the company’s factory in Mexico.