What exactly is a heat exchanger and types of heat exchanger?

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Heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat from one medium to another. For example, a Hydraulic Oil Cooler will remove heat from heated oil using cool water or air. A Swimming Pool Heat Exchanger, on the other hand, uses hot water from a boiler or sun heated water circuit to heat the pool water. Conduction transfers heat via the exchanger materials that divide the mediums being utilised. A shell and tube heat exchanger cools a liquid by passing it through and over tubes, whereas an air cooled heat exchanger cools it by passing cool air through a core of fins.

What kinds of heat exchangers are there?

There are several types of heat exchangers available, with Thermex supplying three of the most common.

Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers are made up of a large number of tiny tubes that are housed within a cylindrical shell. The tubes are positioned into the cylinder using a tube bundle or “tube stack,” which can have fixed tube plates (permanently fixed to the body) or, in the case of Thermex Heat Exchangers, a floating tube stack, which allows the tube bundle to expand and contract with varying heat conditions and is easily removed for servicing and maintenance.

Plate Heat Exchangers work in much the same manner as shell and tube heat exchangers, except instead of tubes, they use a sequence of stacked plates. Depending on the application and fluids utilised, plate heat exchangers are generally brazed or gasketed. Because of their small stainless steel structure, they are excellent for use with refrigerants or in food and beverage production.

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