How To Improve Performance of Heat Exchanger

The performance of a heat exchanger is evaluated on the basis of its efficiency. The more efficient a heat exchanger is, the more value it offers consumers. The efficiency of heat exchangers may not worry you much if the only heat exchangers you are exposed to are the ones in your home air conditioner and refrigerator. However, if you are using an automobile or if you are in charge of running a factory, then the efficiency of your heat exchangers can have serious financial implications.

Follow Installation Guidelines

Increasing the efficiency of the heat exchanger begins with getting the installation of the device absolutely spot on. If you have bought the heat exchanger from a reputable manufacturer, you are sure to have received a set of installation guidelines from the makers of the device. These guidelines should not be overlooked under any circumstances. Failure to follow the guidelines will not only compromise the efficiency of the heat exchanger, but may also hamper the basic operation of the device.

Changing the Flow Rate

Whenever technicians come in for routine inspection and repair work, you can ask them to check if the flow of the fluids in both the primary and the secondary side of the heat exchanger has the correct velocity. Increase flow rates enhance the capacity of the heat exchanger to transfer heat. That being said, you are advised to not excessively increase the velocity, as it adds on to the mass and makes it more difficult for the energy to be removed.

Removing Corrosion

If there is any corrosion on any region of the heat exchanger, then it should be removed immediately if you do not want the device to become inefficient. Sometimes the corrosion becomes so bad that you need to have the tube plates replaced. Make sure your technicians carry out all the necessary removals and replacements for the sake of a smoother operating heat exchanger.

Online and Offline Cleaning

Online cleaning helps prevent fouling and scaling without having to shut down the heat exchanger or interrupting operations. Online cleaning can be used as a standalone approach or in conjunction with chemical treatment to prevent any reduction in the heat exchanger performance and to extend the service life of the tube. Online cleaning techniques include the re-circulating ball type system and the brush and basket system.

Another effective cleaning technique that efficiently improves heat exchanger efficiency and reduces operational expenses is offline cleaning. Also knows as pigging, this technique employs a bullet like equipment that is placed in each tube and pushed down the tube using high-air pressure. Other commonly used offline cleaning methods include chemical cleaning, hydro-blasting and hydro-lancing.

Maintaining Heat Exchanger

The best way to boost heat exchanger efficiency and increase output is to implement good maintaining practices that avoid fouling, blockages and leakages in the plate heat exchanger. The absence of periodic maintenance is bound to impact heat exchanger efficiency leading to reduced heat transfer, potentially higher energy costs, cross contamination of fluids and erosion issues. So, it can be safely concluded that all heat exchanger performance problems can be easily avoided by enforcing an appropriate maintenance program.

Cleaning the PHE Manually

Manual cleaning requires you to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It is preferred to do the cleaning of the plates without separating them from the frame so when installing a PHE, it is essential to ensure there is adequate space to facilitate maneuvering for manual cleanings.