A device designed to transfer heat between two physically separated fluids; generally consists of a cylindrical shell with longitudinal tubes; one fluid flows on the inside, the other on the outside.
Any of several devices that transfer heat from a hot to a cold fluid. In many engineering applications, one fluid needs to be heated and another cooled, a requirement economically accomplished by a heat exchanger. In double-pipe exchangers, one fluid flows inside the inner pipe, and the other in the annular space between the two pipes. In shell-and-tube exchangers, many tubes are mounted inside a shell; one fluid flows in the tubes and the other flows in the shell, outside the tubes. Special-purpose devices such as boilers, evaporators, superheaters, condensers, and coolers are all heat exchangers. Heat exchangers are used extensively in fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants, gas turbines, heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, and the chemical industry. See also cooling system.
A device used to transfer heat from a fluid flowing on one side of a barrier to another fluid (or fluids) flowing on the other side of the barrier.
When used to accomplish simultaneous heat transfer and mass transfer, heat exchangers become special equipment types, often known by other names. When fired directly by a combustion process, they become furnaces, boilers, heaters, tube-still heaters, and engines. If there is a change in phase in one of the flowing fluids—condensation of steam to water, for example—the equipment may be called a chiller, evaporator, sublimator, distillation-columnreboiler, still, condenser, or cooler-condenser.
Heat exchangers may be so designed that chemical reactions or energy-generation processes can be carried out within them. The exchanger then becomes an integral part of the reaction system and may be known, for example, as a nuclear reactor, catalytic reactor, or polymerize.
Heat exchangers are normally used only for the transfer and useful elimination or recovery of heat without an accompanying phase change. The fluids on either side of the barrier are usually liquids, but they may also be gases such as steam, air, or hydrocarbon vapors; or they may be liquid metals such as sodium or mercury. Fused salts are also used as heat-exchanger fluids in some applications.
Most often the barrier between the fluids is a metal wall such as that of a tube or pipe. However, it can be fabricated from flat metal plate or from graphite, plastic, or other corrosion-resistant materials of construction.
A device used to exchange heat from one medium to another often through metal walls, usually to extract heat from a medium flowing between two surfaces. A heat exchanger is usually in the form of a radiator with one fluid flowing inside tubes and the other outside them. Various forms of heat exchangers are air-to-air, air-to-liquid, and liquid-to-liquid.
A heat exchanger is a device built for efficientheat transfer from one medium to another. The medium may be separated by a solid wall, so that they never mix, or they may be in direct contact. They are widely used inspace heating, refrigeration, air conditioning,power plants, chemical plants, petrochemical plants, petroleum refineries, and natural gas processing. One common example of a heat exchanger is the radiator in a car, in which the heat source, being a hot engine-cooling fluid, water, transfers heat to air flowing through the radiator (i.e. the heat transfer medium).
I. Types of heat exchangers
1. Shell and tube heat exchanger
Shell and tube heat exchangers consist of a series of tubes. One set of these tubes contains the fluid that must be either heated or cooled. The second fluid runs over the tubes that are being heated or cooled so that it can either provide the heat or absorb the heat required. A set of tubes is called the tube bundle and can be made up of several types of tubes: plain, longitudinally finned, etc. Shell and Tube heat exchangers are typically used for high pressure applications (with pressures greater than 30 bar and temperatures greater than 260°C). This is because the shell and tube heat exchangers are robust due to their shape.
There are several thermal design features that are to be taken into account when designing the tubes in the shell and tube heat exchangers. These include:
§ Tube diameter: Using a small tube diameter makes the heat exchanger both economical and compact. However, it is more likely for the heat exchanger to foul up faster and the small size makes mechanical cleaning of the fouling difficult. To prevail over the fouling and cleaning problems, larger tube diameters can be used. Thus to determine the tube diameter, the available space, cost and the fouling nature of the fluids must be considered.
§ Tube thickness: The thickness of the wall of the tubes is usually determined to ensure:
§ There is enough room for corrosion
§ That flow-induced vibration has resistance
§ Axial strength
§ Availability of spare parts
§ Hoop strength (to withstand internal tube pressure)
§ Buckling strength (to withstand overpressure in the shell)
§ Tube length: heat exchangers are usually cheaper when they have a smaller shell diameter and a long tube length. Thus, typically there is an aim to make the heat exchanger as long as physically possible whilst not exceeding production capabilities. However, there are many limitations for this, including the space available at the site where it is going to be used and the need to ensure that there are tubes available in lengths that are twice the required length (so that the tubes can be withdrawn and replaced). Also, it has to be remembered that long, thin tubes are difficult to take out and replace.
§ Tube pitch: when designing the tubes, it is practical to ensure that the tube pitch (i.e., the centre-centre distance of adjoining tubes) is not less than 1.25 times the tubes' outside diameter. A larger tube pitch leads to a larger overall shell diameter which leads to a more expensive heat exchanger.
§ Tube corrugation: this type of tubes, mainly used for the inner tubes, increases the turbulence of the fluids and the effect is very important in the heat transfer giving a better performance.
§ Tube Layout: refers to how tubes are positioned within the shell. There are four main types of tube layout, which are, triangular (30°), rotated triangular (60°), square (90°) and rotated square (45°). The triangular patterns are employed to give greater heat transfer as they force the fluid to flow in a more turbulent fashion around the piping. Square patterns are employed where high fouling is experienced and cleaning is more regular.
2. Plate heat exchanger
Another type of heat exchanger is the plate heat exchanger. One is composed of multiple, thin, slightly-separated plates that have very large surface areas and fluid flow passages for heat transfer. This stacked-plate arrangement can be more effective, in a given space, than the shell and tube heat exchanger. Advances in gasket and brazing technology have made the plate-type heat exchanger increasingly practical. In HVAC applications, large heat exchangers of this type are called plate-and-frame; when used in open loops, these heat exchangers are normally of the gasketed type to allow periodic disassembly, cleaning, and inspection. There are many types of permanently-bonded plate heat exchangers, such as dip-brazed and vacuum-brazed plate varieties, and they are often specified for closed-loop applications such as refrigeration. Plate heat exchangers also differ in the types of plates that are used, and in the configurations of those plates. Some plates may be stamped with "chevron" or other patterns, where others may have machined fins and/or grooves.
3. Phase-change heat exchangers
In addition to heating up or cooling down fluids in just a single phase, heat exchangers can be used either to heat a liquid to evaporate (or boil) it or used as condensers to cool a vapor and condense it to a liquid. In chemical plants and refineries, reboilers used to heat incoming feed for distillation towers are often heat exchangers.
Distillation set-ups typically use condensers to condense distillate vapors back into liquid.
Power plants which have steam-driven turbines commonly use heat exchangers to boil water into steam. Heat exchangers or similar units for producing steam from water are often called boilers or steam generators.
In the nuclear power plants called pressurized water reactors, special large heat exchangers which pass heat from the primary (reactor plant) system to the secondary (steam plant) system, producing steam from water in the process, are called steam generators. All fossil-fueled and nuclear power plants using steam-driven turbines have surface condensers to convert the exhaust steam from the turbines into condensate (water) for re-use.
To conserve energy and cooling capacity in chemical and other plants, regenerative heat exchangers can be used to transfer heat from one stream that needs to be cooled to another stream that needs to be heated, such as distillate cooling and reboiler feed pre-heating.
This term can also refer to heat exchangers that contain a material within their structure that has a change of phase. This is usually a solid to liquid phase due to the small volume difference between these states. This change of phase effectively acts as a buffer because it occurs at a constant temperature but still allows for the heat exchanger to accept additional heat. One example where this has been investigated is for use in high power aircraft electronics
4. Fluid heat exchangers
This is a heat exchanger with a gas passing upwards through a shower of fluid (often water), and the fluid is then taken elsewhere before being cooled. This is commonly used for cooling gases whilst also removing certain impurities, thus solving two problems at once. It is widely used in espresso machines as an energy-saving method of cooling super-heated water to be used in the extraction of espresso.
5. Moving bed heat exchangers (also moving bed coolers) are stationary heat exchangers for bulk materials for continuous processes in chemical engineering.
Moving bed heat exchangers essentially exist of a huge number of square tubes which are arranged in heat exchanger packages one above the other. The ends of the tubes are closed with end plates. Behind the plates are reversing chambers for the cooling or heating medium. The sides of the external tubes are equipped with steel plate strips which hold the product in the shaft. To protect the environments or the product quality, doors that close the side walls can be fitted. Above and under the heat exchanger are feed respectively discharge hoppers. Different conveyor facilities for bulk materials, as for example conveying screws, bucket conveyors or similar are downstream systems.
The cooling or warming of the bulk materials in the Moving bed Cooler happens indirectly; via water, thermal oil or steam. The heating or cooling medium flows through the square tubes. Medium and product flow in cross countercurrent to each other. The coolers work according to the Moving Bed Principle. I.e. the product forms a product column which flows continuously down between the cooling pipes. A discharge bottom with variable openings regulates dwell time and flow rate.
Moving bed heat exchangers can be used for cooling or warming of all free-flowing bulk materials which correspond to the requirements of the apparatus, concerning grain size and angle of repose. The heat exchangers often can be found after rotary kilns and dryers to cool e.g. mineral (quartz sand, Ilmentit etc.) or chemical products (fertilizer, soda etc.). The entry temperatures of the products can reach up to 1200 °C.
Moving bed heat exchangers have a relatively compact construction. Because of the working principle they need only a small base. However, depending on their application they can build relatively high. Because of having only few moved parts they have low electrical requirements and are low-maintenance. Problems with noise or dust contamination of the environments do not occur.
Due to the many variables involved, selecting optimal heat exchangers is challenging. Hand calculations are possible, but many iterations are typically needed. As such, heat exchangers are most often selected via computer programs, either by system designers, who are typicallyengineers, or by equipment vendors.
In order to select an appropriate heat exchanger, the system designers (or equipment vendors) would firstly consider the design limitations for each heat exchanger type. Although cost is often the first criterion evaluated, there are several other important selection criteria which include:
§ High/ Low pressure limits
§ Thermal Performance
§ Temperature ranges
§ Product Mix (liquid/liquid, particulates or high-solids liquid)
§ Pressure Drops across the exchanger
§ Fluid flow capacity
§ Cleanability, maintenance and repair
§ Materials required for construction
§ Ability and ease of future expansion
Choosing the right heat exchanger (HX) requires some knowledge of the different heat exchanger types, as well as the environment in which the unit must operate. Typically in the manufacturing industry, several differing types of heat exchangers are used for just the one process or system to derive the final product. For example, a kettle HX for pre-heating, a double pipe HX for the ‘carrier’ fluid and a plate and frame HX for final cooling. With sufficient knowledge of heat exchanger types and operating requirements, an appropriate selection can be made to optimise the process.
III. Monitoring and maintenance
Integrity inspection of plate and tubular heat exchanger can be tested in situ by the conductivity or helium gas methods. These methods confirm the integrity of the plates or tubes to prevent any cross contamination and the condition of the gaskets.
Condition monitoring of heat exchanger tubes may be conducted through Nondestructive methods such as eddy current testing.
The mechanics of water flow and deposits are often simulated by computational fluid dynamics or CFD. Fouling is a serious problem in some heat exchangers. River water is often used as cooling water, which results in biological debris entering the heat exchanger and building layers, decreasing the heat transfer coefficient. Another common problem is scale, which is made up of deposited layers of chemicals such ascalcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate.
Fouling occurs when a fluid goes through the heat exchanger, and the impurities in the fluid precipitate onto the surface of the tubes. Precipitation of these impurities can be caused by:
§ Frequent use of the heat exchanger
§ Not cleaning the heat exchanger regularly
§ Reducing the velocity of the fluids moving through the heat exchanger
§ Over-sizing of the heat exchanger
Effects of fouling are more abundant in the cold tubes of the heat exchanger than in the hot tubes. This is because impurities are less likely to be dissolved in a cold fluid. This is because, for most substances, solubility increases as temperature increases. A notable exception is hard water where the opposite is true.
Fouling reduces the cross sectional area for heat to be transferred and causes an increase in the resistance to heat transfer across the heat exchanger. This is because the thermal conductivity of the fouling layer is low. This reduces the overall heat transfer coefficient and efficiency of the heat exchanger. This in turn, can lead to an increase in pumping and maintenance costs.
The conventional approach to fouling control combines the “blind” application of biocides and anti-scale chemicals with periodic lab testing. This often results in the excessive use of chemicals with the inherent side effects of accelerating system corrosion and increasing toxic waste- not to mention the incremental cost of unnecessary treatments. There are however solutions for continuous fouling monitoring In liquid environments, such as the Neosens FS sensor, measuring both fouling thickness and temperature, allowing to optimize the use of chemicals and control the efficiency of cleanings.
The human lungs also serve as an extremely efficient heat exchanger due to their large surface area to volume ratio.
In species that have external testes (such as humans), the artery to the testis is surrounded by a mesh of veins called the pampiniform plexus. This cools the blood heading to the testis, while reheating the returning blood.
2. Birds, fish, whales
"Countercurrent" heat exchangers occur naturally in the circulation system of fish and whales. Arteries to the skin carrying warm blood are intertwined with veins from the skin carrying cold blood, causing the warm arterial blood to exchange heat with the cold venous blood. This reduces the overall heat loss in cold waters. Heat exchangers are also present in the tongue of baleen whales as large volumes of water flow through their mouths.Wading birds use a similar system to limit heat losses from their body through their legs into the water.
3. In industry
Heat exchangers are widely used in industry both for cooling and heating large scale industrial processes. The type and size of heat exchanger used can be tailored to suit a process depending on the type of fluid, its phase, temperature, density, viscosity, pressures, chemical composition and various other thermodynamic properties.
In many industrial processes there is waste of energy or a heat stream that is being exhausted, heat exchangers can be used to recover this heat and put it to use by heating a different stream in the process. This practice saves a lot of money in industry as the heat supplied to other streams from the heat exchangers would otherwise come from an external source which is more expensive and more harmful to the environment.
Heat exchangers are used in many industries, some of which include:
§ Waste water treatment
§ Refrigeration systems
§ Wine-brewery industry
§ Petroleum industry.
In the waste water treatment industry, heat exchangers play a vital role in maintaining optimal temperatures within anaerobic digesters so as to promote the growth of microbes which remove pollutants from the waste water. The common types of heat exchangers used in this application are the double pipe heat exchanger as well as the plate and frame heat exchanger.
4. In aircraft
In commercial aircraft, heat exchangers are used to take heat from the engine's oil system to heat cold fuel.This improves fuel efficiency, as well as reduces the possibility of water entrapped in the fuel freezing in components.
In early 2008, a Boeing 777 flying as British Airways Flight 38 crashed just short of the runway. In an early-2009 Boeing-update sent to aircraft operators, the problem was identified as specific to the Rolls-Royce engine oil-fuel flow heat exchangers. Other heat exchangers, or Boeing 777 aircraft powered by GE or Pratt and Whitney engines, are not affected by the problem.
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2. ^ Saunders, E. A. (1988). Heat Exchanges: Selection, Design and Construction. New York: Longman Scientific and Technical.
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4. ^ Perry, Robert H. and Green, Don W. (1984). Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook (6th Edition ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-049479-7.