Heat exchangers have a wide application in a number of different industries, ranging from automobiles to vegetable oil processing, and more. By conserving and transferring heat, they make the process more environmentally friendly. They are also central to the overall safety of the equipment and those who handle it. Equipment like heat exchangers and pressure vessels are essential for the efficient functioning of a number of industrial and mechanical processes.
A widely used process
Heat transfer is a widely used industrial process. It is used in such diverse processes as space heating, refrigeration, air conditions, power stations, chemical and petrochemical plants, refineries, natural gas processing and sewage treatment. Like heat exchangers, pressure vessels have a wide range of applications, from aerosol cans to passenger cabins in airplanes. Also like heat exchangers, pressure vessels, play an important part in ensuring the safety of the process and its operators.
Because of their wide applicability in a number of mechanical and industrial processes, heat exchange and boiler manufacturing is a multi-billion dollar industry. As of 2013, total combined revenues were estimated to be around $7 billion. By 2021, the market for heat exchangers is expected to reach $19.14 Billion. That’s a CAGR of 8.2%.
How does it work?
Heat exchanger design enables the transfer of heat from a solid to a liquid or from a liquid to a liquid. These materials have to be at different temperatures and in thermal contact. This can be achieved through different configurations. The three types of heat exchangers have different configurations. These are parallel flow or counterflow configuration, cross-flow, and shell-and-tube heat exchangers.
According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, heat flows from the hotter to the cooler fluids. In heat exchangers, the fluids can pass each other once, or multiple times. These are single-pass and multi-pass heat exchangers respectively. Shell and tube configurations can be used for waste heat recovery, making industrial processes like vegetable oil processing more environmentally friendly and cost efficient.
Some applications of heat exchangers
Applications of heat exchange are multiple and varied. The internal combustion engine and heat sinks rely on the process for cooling engines. Heat exchangers also make waste heat recovery possible, making industrial operations more environmentally friendly and cost efficient.
Equipment like heat exchangers, pressure vessels, and vacuum tanks all contribute to the safety and efficiency of industrial and mechanical processes. With their wide range of applications, the demand for heat exchangers and related equipment is posed for rapid growth.