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Types of Heat Exchangers: An Introduction to All Essential Specifications

Date:25 April, 2022   |   No Comments   |   Posted By Team Alaquainc

Heat exchangers are devices that allow heat to be transferred between two or more fluids of different temperatures (vapors, liquids, or gases). The heat transfer process can be liquid-to-gas, gas-to-gas, or liquid-to-liquid, and it can happen through a solid separator or direct fluid contact, depending on the type of heat exchanger used. Other design features, such as construction materials and components, heat transfer processes, and flow configurations, aid in classifying and categorizing the various types of heat exchangers accessible. Heat exchanger makers offer a wide range of heat-exchanging devices designed and manufactured for use in both cooling and heating processes and find applications across a wide range of industries.

This blog examines the numerous types and designs of heat exchangers, as well as their functions and mechanics. This blog also discusses the factors to consider when choosing a heat exchanger and the most popular applications for each one.

Heat exchangers

How Does Heat Exchanger Work?

As previously stated, heat exchangers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and their sole purpose is to transfer and transmit heat in a variety of processes and scenarios, such as space heating, refrigeration, cooling, power plants, chemical plants, and other applications. But how do these machines function?

Heat exchangers transfer heat from combustion in a furnace fueled by natural gas or propane. The hot flue gas heats the metal, and the air passing over the heat exchanger’s exterior is warmed. It’s important to note that this is only one type of heat transfer that occurs in many types of heat exchangers, but it’s the entire point in practically all heat transfer devices.

Types of Heat Exchangers

There are various different types of heat exchangers available depending on the design characteristics. Industry commonly uses the following versions:

  • Shell and tube heat exchangers
  • Double pipe heat exchangers
  • Plate heat exchangers
  • Evaporators, boilers, and condensers

Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers

Manufacturers commonly build shell and tube heat exchangers using single or parallel tubes within a sealed cylindrical shell, the most widely used type.

Double Pipe Heat Exchangers

Double pipe heat exchangers, a basic shell and tube type, utilize a simple design with concentric pipes. One fluid circulates inside smaller tubes, surrounded by another in the larger tube.

Fluids flow separately through channels in double pipe heat exchangers, combining features of recuperative and indirect contact types, offering design flexibility. They can also be employed modularly in series, parallel, or series-parallel configurations within a system.

Plate Heat Exchangers

Corrugated thin plates, joined by brazing, bolting, or welding, create plate heat exchangers, forming channels for fluids to flow.

Plate fin or pillow plate heat exchangers are examples of modifications to the conventional plate design. Fins or spacers in plate-fin exchangers enable diverse flow configurations, accommodating more than two fluid streams through the device. Pillow plate exchangers provide pressure to the plates to improve heat transfer over the plate’s surface. Plate and frame, spiral plate, and plate and shell heat exchangers are among the various options.

Evaporators, Boilers, and Condensers

Boilers, condensers, and evaporators employ two-phase heat transfer. Fluids in these exchangers change phase, transitioning between liquid and gas.

Condensers cool heated gas or vapor to condense it into a liquid, serving as heat-exchanging devices. The heat transmission process in evaporators and boilers, on the other hand, converts liquids to gases or vapors.


Other Variants

Various industries utilize heat exchangers for diverse applications, resulting in a range of configurations tailored to specific needs and specifications. Available types include fan-cooled, air-cooled, and adiabatic wheel heat exchangers, along with those mentioned earlier.

Alaqua is worldwide processing equipment such as an evaporator, crystallizer, distillation, spray dryer, solvent recovery, and heat exchanger equipment supplier in the USA. We offer various processing equipment services such as troubleshooting, installation, and commissioning, field services, etc. Get a quote today!

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