Embraco has been at the forefront of cooling solutions for the last 5 decades, setting the global benchmark in quality, technical excellence, and practical, sustainable innovation for the refrigeration industry.


One in five compressors in the world are Embraco and we take that responsibility seriously. Business owners, OEMs and contractors choose Embraco because our products are developed with a commitment to innovation partnership, and a conscious effort to give people a better quality of life. We prioritize continued research and development so that we can offer efficient, cost-saving, and sustainable compressors and cooling solutions, such as condensing units and sealed units ranging from 1/12 to 2HP, for the worldwide market.


Fixed Speed Compressors (ON-OFF)

For many years the Fixed Speed compressor model, commonly known as the ON-OFF compressor, stood alone in the refrigeration industry. It has a time-tested, straightforward design and impressive versatility and reliability. ON-OFF compressors are at work inside a range of common appliances, from your home refrigerator to drinking fountains, ice makers, beverage coolers, and large commercial refrigeration cabinets.


The Embraco ON-OFF hermetic reciprocating compressor pulls refrigerant from the evaporator, increases the vapor pressure and discharges the refrigerant to the condenser. It switches off and on depending on the temperature of the refrigerator, running at a single speed during each cycle. Similarly, it pumps refrigerant throughout the system when activated— it’s either on or off, or in our case, removing heat from the refrigerator or not.


The on-off compressor works in a cyclic regime operating at a fixed speed, 3000rpm or 3600rpm. The compressor turns on when the internal temperature of the refrigeration system reaches its highest point and turns off when the temperature reaches its lowest point – temperatures defined by thermostat position or controller setting.


Our traditional ON-OFF products have been in the market for decades, but we’re still committed to continuous innovation in the market. Nidec Global Appliance invests 3% to 4% of its revenue in research and development and currently has 1450 patents in progress (approved or pending approval) related to refrigeration. Continuous improvements in the quality and control of our production processes have increased the energy efficiency of our compressors by 30-40% over the years.


Since sustainability is one of our primary values, we work not only to minimize the environmental impact of our supply chain and production standards but to develop highly energy-efficient solutions and also lead the introduction of natural refrigerants in the refrigeration market.


Embraco carries a wide range of residential and commercial compressors for low to high back pressure applications ready for R-600a and R-290 (propane) refrigerants. The adoption of hydrocarbon refrigerant minimizes direct and indirect impacts on climate change due to the extremely low GWP of the refrigerant, reduced compressor footprint and enhanced energy efficiency of the system.


Variable Speed Compressors (VCC)

Different from the ON-OFF model, Embraco’s variable speed compressor reduces energy consumption by adjusting its speed to match fluctuating cooling demands. In other words, the compressor understands whether the internal temperature is increasing or decreasing and, through this, it modulates its speed to have greater or lesser refrigeration capacity. By changing the operating speed as a function of the thermal load of the system, the variable speed compressor operates to keep internal temperatures more stable, without major changes – low hysteresis. A smaller hysteresis provides a safer and more suitable environment in applications such as food service or medical and scientific.


Inverter technology can reduce energy consumption by up to 40% when compared to ON-OFF technology. The different speeds help each unit reach its target temperature faster by speeding up when necessary and slowing down when demands are lower, such as outside hours of operation. This process also helps stabilize the internal temperature of each unit, providing a safer and more suitable environment for applications such as food service and medical. 


Variable speed technology reduces compressor noise and vibration as well, replacing the recognizable click and hum of your refrigerator turning on with a soft start and a steady low speed. Every model we design is built to be reliable, safe, and maintain performance integrity despite energy requirements and current fluctuations.


Our variable speed compressor does more than reduce operating costs—it maximizes food storage capability, saving more food with less energy in millions of homes and businesses across the globe. That’s real value.


Identifying the Right Pressure Level for Your Application

Embraco compressors are classified into two different motor types:


LST (Low starting torque) – Appropriate for systems with a capillary tube expansion-type device and equalized pressure on startup.


HST (High starting torque) – Appropriate for systems with expansion valve or capillary tube expansion-type device with disequalized pressure on startup.


They are also classified into three different pressure levels, LBP, MBP, and HBP:


LBP (Low Back Pressure) – Low evaporation temperature.


MBP (Medium back pressure) – Average evaporation temperature.


HBP (High back pressure) – High evaporation temperature.




Selecting the Right Compressor

When selecting a new compressor, either for replacement or a new application, firstly, it should notice which expansion device is used in the refrigeration system and then which is the evaporation range of the system. This information must be verified before changing, as a wrong choice of the compressor can result in malfunction and even premature failure of the compressor.


Typically, on replacement, compressors are selected by their HP reference. However, HP is not a unit of measure for cooling capacity. Upon selection, the capacity information (Btu/H, kcal/h or W) must be verified according to the thermal load of the system. Technical characteristics of the system will directly impact the thermal load, such as: equipment wall thickness and insulation, type of door used (solid or glass) or whether the system is vertical or horizontal. For instance, a vertical system of 500 liters with a glass door will need a compressor with greater capacity compared to a system with the same characteristics but with a solid door.


Compressor capacity information should be consulted in its technical spec sheets. You can find Embraco`s datasheets on the Embraco ToolBox app or easy-to-use Product Selector Software. The cooling capacity is a physical quantity measured in equipment called a calorimeter and follows international test standards, such as: ASHRAE, AHAM, ARI, among others. This is a point of attention when you want to compare the refrigeration capacity between compressors, because by changing the test standard the operating conditions of the compressor change, so the capacity also changes.


When understanding the application of the refrigerator (1) , the temperature required for the product to be stored in it (2), the noise levels (depending on where the refrigerator will be) (3), and the sensitivity of the product regarding temperature changes (4), the choice of the compressor will be the most suitable. Embraco`s Replacement Guide will help you to find the right compressor to your application.


Click here to download the reference guide to select the right compressor to your application.


For a full list of compressors and condensing units available to the United States and Canada, download Embraco`s Aftermarket Catalog.


 EM, fixed-speed (on-off) compressor 


F, fixed-speed (on-off) compressor 


FMF, variable speed (VCC) compressor 


By: Denny Martin, Nidec Global Appliance technical support

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