Choosing the right type of heat exchanger can save you energy and money in the long run. Getting the wrong unit can lead to below par plant performance, equipment failure and high cost of operation. These exchangers are typically used in transferring energy from one fluid to another. Here are some criteria that you can use to select the best exchanger.
Factors in choosing the best heat exchanger
- Application – This includes sensible vapor or liquid, boiling or condensing.
- Operating temperatures and pressures – Include start up, standard & process upset conditions and shutdown.
- Foul characteristics of fluids used – Possibility to foul because of temperature and suspended solids.
- Available utilities – Include cooling tower water, hot oil, steam, chilled water, and cooling water.
- Temperature driving force – Includes availability of LMTD, and temperature of approach.
- Layout and plot plan constraints
- Accessibility in cleaning and maintenance
- Potential for future expansions
- Mechanical considerations – Include material of construction, impingement protection, clean out conditions, process upset, shutdown, and thermal stress during start up.
Past experience is a good starting point when choosing the right heat exchanger especially that this job requires some technical knowledge. If you know what to do, then there’s no question doing it by yourself. But if you don’t have any experience in this field, it’s best to ask the help of a professional. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting the right unit that will not be a burden to you. In comparing the different kinds of heat transfer equipment, you must consider the total cost involved in installing the equipment that includes:
- Cost of the equipment
- Installation cost
- Cost of operation
- Maintenance cost
Remember that this is not a DIY job since there are some technical knowledge involved in the selection of exchangers. You have to obtain some knowledge about the different kinds of heat exchangers and the manner they operate.
To make your life easier, let a reputable company do it for you so you can relax. If you’re worried about the cost of installation, you can search for a company offering flat rates on materials and labor. Ask them to submit a quotation and drop by to make an estimate. Ask them also what type of heat exchanger is the best that they can recommend to you that will fit your home. Then, tell them about your available budget for the project.