A plate and frame heat exchanger (PHE) is often a preferred option because of excellent heat transfer capability. When using this type of unit, there are several critical factors that should be considered. For example, if the plate and frame heat exchanger will be used in conjunction with a cooling tower, the PHE must be designed specifically for the chemicals used as water treatment.
In addition, you will find it much easier and simpler to prevent leakage from occurring in the heat exchanger than from stopping the leak once it has begun. The most important step that you can take to ensure optimal operation is to make sure you work directly with the manufacturer. Obviously, the manufacturing company should have a solid history of excellence and unrivaled expertise specific to PHEs.
A plate and frame heat exchanger is designed to use metal plates for transferring heat between two fluids. Compared to a more traditional heat exchanger, this type of system has a huge advantage in that fluids are exposed to a larger surface area since they are spread out over the plates. Because of this, the transfer of heat is better facilitated.
This also increases the speed of temperature change significantly. Today, a plate and frame heat exchanger is actually quite common. While there are small brazed versions used for residential purposes, large plate and frame heat exchangers for commercial or industrial use have a unique design of having gaskets in between the plates.
A plate and frame heat exchanger is used along with pipes and other types of containment vessels to heat and/or cool fluid via heat transfer between the first and a secondary fluid. Typically, the design includes a coiled pipe containing fluid that passes through a chamber with a second fluid. Additionally, the pipe walls are typically constructed from a high thermal conductivity material such as metal to help facilitate the interchange. On the larger chamber is an outer casing made from thermal insulation coated material or plastic that prevents the escape of heat.
Information to Provide Your Plate and Heat Exchanger Manufacturer
When requesting a quote, begin communicating all relevant details to the manufacturer. Because two liquid streams, known as the cold side and the hot side flow into and out of the heat exchanger, four different temperatures must be considered when determining the size of the heat exchanger. These temperatures include the hot side outlet, the hot side inlet, the cold side outlet, and the cold side inlet.
You also want to provide information so the heat exchanger can be properly sized such as flow rates, fluid names, outlet temperature, inlet temperature, maximum pressure drop, and operating pressures. Regardless if proprietary or uncommon fluids are used, you also need to provide the manufacturer with pertinent information pertaining to those fluids such as outlet temperatures, viscosity at inlet, specific gravity, thermal conductivity, and specific heat.
Sometimes, a manufacturer will ask for additional information in order to provide an accurate quote on the right type of plate and frame heat exchanger for your needs. To avoid delays, inaccurate bid, or the wrong plate and heat exchanger, be sure all information provided is accurate.