Effective thermal management is required for industrial applications to run industrial processes at a specific temperature. To maintain a specific temperature inside the applications cooling or heating mechanism must be installed in the applications. Heat exchangers accomplish this task.
A simple example of heat exchangers is heating or cooling systems in our houses. Another example includes a cooling system of our car engine, which uses coolant liquid to absorb the heat generated by the car engine. There are many industries where the use of the heat exchanger is common and these include oil and gas, power generation, food processing, pharmaceuticals, laser applications, high end computing devices, and electronics devices.
Depending on the requirements, these devices can be manufactured in different designs and these include plate, plate fin, tube, tube fin, shell, and tube and double pipe types. Every type has its advantages and disadvantages and it is suitable for specific industrial application.
Heat Exchanger Manufacturers offer ready to use heat exchangers that can be easily installed for simple tasks like heating or cooling the residential or the commercial premises. But to meet the requirements of the specific industrial application, heat exchangers must be designed to meet specific goals. The process of designing a heat exchanger involves many steps. Thermal engineers study the requirements and suggest the design and size of the heat exchanger. There are several parameters taken into consideration for suggesting the design. These parameters include the amount of the heat to be transferred, required heat transfer rate, application type, budget, and maintenance.
These devices are manufactured using plates or tubes of different dimensions using different materials. The materials having good thermal conductivity are considered ideal materials for plates or tubes. Several metals like copper, aluminum, and stainless steel are used on large scale for tubes and plates. Which material should be used for manufacturing depends upon the application type in which it is going to be used. Capacity to conduct heat, corrosion and cost are important factors when choosing material for the manufacturing.
Different mediums are used for transferring heat inside the plate or tubes which can be in liquid or gas form. Water is used widely as a heat transfer medium in the heat exchanger. This is because it is available in quantity and it is a cost effective solution. Synthetic oil is also used in devices that use the liquid as a heat transfer medium. Air to air type devices use air as a heat transfer medium but the air is not as effective as a heat transfer medium as water. Air to air type of device is cost effective solution compared to the devices which use liquid because liquid devices require a mechanism to circulate liquid.
The petroleum refining industry uses these devices on a large scale in various processes like crude oil distillation and various stages of the refining process. Shell and tube types of devices are used on a large scale because they can handle a large volume of heat and they can handle high pressure.
The devices used in the pharmaceutical industry require a material that can prevent contamination and high grade stainless steel is considered the ideal material for such applications.