Heat exchangers are used for variety of purposes within industrial environments. This includes hot water storage tanks, thermal energy storage, and waste heat boilers.
Situations Where Heat Exchanges Are Used
These devices are used to transfer heat in the following situations at different temperatures and when in thermal contact:
- Between 2 or more fluids
- Between solid surfaces and fluids
- Between solid particulates and fluids
The Different Types of Heat Exchangers
Heat exchangers are available in 3 different types
- Parallel-flow or counterflow configuration
- Cross-flow configuration
- Shell-and-tube configuration
With parallel-flow heat exchangers, for example, the tube side fluid and the shell side’s both flow in the identical direction. There is a large temperature difference as the fluids are entering the heat exchanger at the same end. It’s important to note that as long as the shell isn’t seriously damaged or corroded, this portion of the heat exchanger may last for longer than 40 years.
Cross-flow heat exchangers operate differently, however. In this case, there is 1 fluid flowing through the tubes when the other passes perpendicularly around the tubes.
The Difference Between Multi-Pass and Single-Pass Heat Exchangers
In some instances, fluids need to pass each other more than once. This is referred to as a multi-pass heat exchanger. When fluids only need to pass through the system once, this is called a single-pass heat exchanger.
How a Heat Exchange Is Made
The second law of thermodynamics demonstrates that heat can only flow from hotter to cooler fluids. Given this, the fluids need to be at different temperatures and come into contact for the heat transfer to occur. This process involves convection in each fluid along with conduction through a separating wall.
An exceptionally high heat transfer rate is created as a result of the process fluids being in extremely close proximity within a diffusion-bonded heat exchanger core. Given the corresponding high efficiency rate of up to 98%, it can also approach temperatures of 2oC.
The Heat Exchanger Market
Since you’re interested in heat exchangers, you may also want to know a few details about the industry’s market value. During 2013, for example, the total United States’ revenue for manufacturing boilers and heat exchangers was approximately 7 billion dollars. By 2021, however, this market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8.2% to attain revenue of 19.14 billion United States’ dollars.
Given the importance of thermal energy storage for a variety of industrial purposes, it is not surprising that this market is expected to grow at a substantial rate. If you would like to know more about thermal energy storage and thermal management, there are a variety of resources available.