Heat exchangers are efficient tools used in different processes and industries because of their design characteristics. They are particularly useful for thermal processing because of their capacity for heat transfer and for withstanding high temperatures and pressures.
Selecting the right type of heat exchanger will ensure maximum efficiency and product quality. With each heat exchanger manufacturer offering you different types of the product, it can be challenging to determine which will best suit your application process. As a result, it is crucial to consider several decision criteria to make your selection.
Determine the Type of Heat Exchanger
Before you get into the specifics, you first need to determine what type of heat exchanger you need for your application. Plate heat exchangers are recommended for simple applications due to their large transfer areas and stainless-steel design, both of which can maximise efficiency and reliability. They are suitable for low-viscosity materials and are easy to maintain since you can easily remove and replace plates when needed.
When dealing with more viscous materials, however, tubular heat exchangers are more suitable since they have product-handling characteristics that can maintain the form of your materials. They are also ideal for processes that need higher levels of heat transfer or more extreme pressures due to their welded design. Tubular heat exchangers are typically conventional in food and beverage processing, which requires multiple heavy-duty applications and usually have scaled operations.
Scraped surface heat exchangers, on the other hand, can handle extremely heat-sensitive products. Their nature allows for quick and continuous movement of fluids, leading to faster heating and cooling rates. If the viscosity or size of your materials cannot be handled by plate or tubular heat exchangers, then you can opt for scraped surface heat exchangers instead.
Check the Maintenance Requirements
The maintenance requirements typically vary based on the type of heat exchanger you chose, the environment you will be using it in, and its design. Another point of consideration will be how accessible and affordable the spare parts are if you need to replace anything. The plates in plate heat exchangers, for instance, can easily be removed and added. For tubular heat exchangers, you will have to check with your heat exchanger manufacturer to see if it is possible to replace part of the unit without disrupting your entire operation.
Look at the Design
It is also essential for you to check out the heat exchanger manufacturer to see whether the company uses the latest and most recent technology in its design. With technologies advancing rapidly, you have to make sure you choose a product that performs efficiently and is both easy to maintain and install.
Consider the Cost
Naturally, the cost will still be an essential factor to consider in your decision. Aside from the cost of the equipment, however, you also have to account for the associated operating costs and the expected life of the product. For example, one heat exchanger may cost more than another, but the additional cost may be recouped from a longer operating life or higher efficiency. Try to compare your options against one another to see which will give you the best value for your money.
With the many industrial applications that you can use heat exchangers in, there are clear benefits to choosing the right one for each of your processes. Start by assessing the needs of your application, then check out your options to see which will be most suitable.