Simply said, a heat exchanger is a machine that transfers hear from one medium to another. A hydraulic oil cooler removes heat from boiling hot oil by using chilly air or water. Alternatively, swimming pool heat exchangers use hot water from a boiler in order to heat the pool water. Heat is then transferred by conduction through the exchanger which isolates the mediums being used. A shell and tube heat exchanger carries fluids through the tubes, whereas an air-cooled heat exchanger passes cold air through fins to cool the liquid.
There are various types of heat exchangers, the three main types are:
Shell and Tube: These heat exchangers consist of many small tubes located within a cylindrical shell. The tubes are placed into the cylinder using tube bundles or “tube stack” which may either have fixed plates or a floating tube stack that allows the tube bundle to expand and absorb with varying heat conditions and allows the tube bundle to be removed easily for maintenance and servicing.
Plate Type: Plate type heat exchangers operate in a similar way as the shell and tube heat exchangers, using a range of stacked plates other than tubes. Plate heat exchangers are commonly brazed or gasketed depending on application and the fluids used. Their solid stainless-steel construction makes an ideal choice for using with food and beverage processing or refrigerants.
Air Cooled: These heat exchangers are usually used in vehicles or mobile applications when no permanent cool water source is available. Cool air is given either by an air flow or fan caused by the movement of the vehicle.
Why do Heat Exchanger operations fail? The most common type of failure in heat exchangers is oil and water mixing. The probable causes for this is either O-ring failure or the tube splitting. Before purchasing heat exchangers, ensure that the supplier is aware of the temperatures and pressures used. Usually a seal kit is all that is required to solve the problem, but it is important to check temperatures before the heat exchanger is purchased.
Looking for a heat exchanger to best suite your needs? Centromac Refrigeration specialises in heat exchangers as well as ancillary equipment, air conditioning and more. Visit our website for more information today!