Increasing the Efficiency of Heat Exchangers

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Upon purchasing a machine, one of the long-term concerns includes making the most out of a machine’s efficiency. When it comes to heavy-duty devices that come at a price like heat exchangers, most of us want to make sure that the machine works for what it is worth. Then, eventually, during long-term usage, another concern arises which is related to durability. You wonder whether it can sustain for years at the same usage level with minimal need for repairs.

Ensuring that the heat exchanger is at optimum level upon and after purchase is essential because we need to avoid repairs, which are often costly for most machines. This brings us to the topic of trust and reliability on the heat exchanger manufacturer and whether they could adequately test the heat exchanger device. Suppose the manufacturer can design and assemble the heat exchanger properly. In that case, its efficiency and lifetime usage should be able to dictate whether the heat exchanger is of high quality or not.

Understanding the Purpose of a Heat Exchanger

When it comes to machine efficiency, you must first know its usage to know its capabilities and limitations. For heat exchanger machines, its function is to exchange heat from one medium such as fluid to another. The common uses of heat exchangers are to change, maintain the temperature level to cool or keep chemicals at a safe temperature.

Now that you know the purpose of a heat exchanger, you can now ask yourself how exactly heat exchangers are used to ensure maximum productivity at a certain period? Well, there are three factors to consider that affect the thermal performance of heat exchangers.

Contrasting Temperature Differential

In no specific order, temperature differential or the difference in temperature between the coolant and the hot fluid is essential to note for efficiency. The key here is that the coolant should be at a much lower temperature than the hot fluid. The coolant and the hot fluid should have a noticeably contrasting temperature because the act of transferring heat from the hot fluid will be much faster and easier, or in other words, efficient.

High Flow Rate

Other than temperature differential, it would help if you also looked out for the flow rate. For high-quality heat exchangers, the greater the flow rate, the greater the efficiency. This is because when the flow rate is greater, the capability to transfer heat also increases. However, a fact to keep in mind with high flow rates is that the liquid’s mass consequently increases. This is why heat exchanger manufacturers need to ensure that velocity through increased pressure should follow the increase in liquid mass.

Installation Per Manufacturer Guidelines

One of the most overlooked factors affecting the efficiency of heat exchangers is the installation process. The installation of a heat exchanger must follow heat exchanger manufacturer guidelines. Specifically, one of the most effective ways to ensure the heat exchanger’s efficiency is to set-up a counter-current arrangement. This means to say that the hot fluid and the coolant should be moving in opposite directions. When the hot fluid and the coolant travel in opposite directions, heat is distributed more evenly, which is the desired effect.

Efficiency Depends on Simultaneous Factors

It is essential when viewing the factors that affect heat exchanger efficiency. You should consider them from a simultaneous perspective. This means that every aspect has a consequent effect on another when it comes to the machine’s overall efficiency. When there is a noticeable temperature differential, but you did not install the heat exchanger per manufacturer guidelines, then efficiency will consequently decrease.

The same logic goes with the two other factors. If you are looking for efficiency in a device like a heat exchanger, you must consider multiple factors working simultaneously. In a heat exchanger, temperature differential, flow rate and installation create a chain reaction when evaluating efficiency.

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