Advantages Of Counter Flow Heat Exchanger Over Parallel Flow Heat Exchangers and Their Types – Tube, Shell, Regenerative and Plate Heat Exchangers

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Heat Exchangers and Their Types – Tube, Shell, Regenerative and Plate Heat Exchangers

Public knowledge about heat exchangers is not abundant; They are generally only discussed in mechanical and chemical engineering circles. Yet they are found worldwide in common appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators, another example being radiators in motor vehicles.

The basic principle behind heat exchangers is to transfer heat from one medium to another. For example a car radiator allows hot fluid from an engine to cool when the radiator fins dissipate heat to the air flowing over its surface. Some of the factors that influence the performance of heat exchangers are the rate of fluid flow and the total area of ​​the wall that separates the fluids. Fins and fins are added to increase the contact wall surface area, which is an effective solution.

Of the 4 types of heat exchangers, the shell and tube configuration is the most common and also relatively easy to maintain. This system consists of several tubes in which the fluid flows and flows over them simultaneously. This allows for heat transfer.

Another is the regenerative type which is common in gas cooling applications which has the effect of taking the heat produced in one process and transferring it to another which is also called heat recovery. Other types are plate and intermediate fluid exchangers.

The plate configuration uses the same technique as the shell and tube except that the fluid flows through layers of cavities between multiple plates resulting in a larger surface area. This configuration is considered to have the best thermodynamic performance for this application and is widespread in the engineering world. But fabrication is more time consuming and labor intensive than shell tube heat exchanger.

The way fluid flows through these devices is divided into 3 major groups. These flow regimes are cross-flow, counter-flow and parallel-flow. Of these, the counter-flow configuration transfers the most heat.

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