What is an Industrial Heat Exchanger?


An industrial heat exchanger is a machine that allows the exchange of thermal energy between two fluids of different temperatures. They are used in plants and large production spaces to maintain certain areas at a fixed temperature or to cause changes in state (for example from liquid to gas), which is necessary for some processes.

Choosing the right model is essential to ensure the right safety and efficiency for the industrial processes that take place in a specific space.

How does it work?

Why should you install an industrial heat exchanger? These machines are used to carry out some production processes such as:

  • cooling or heating of fluid streams;
  • carry out changes of state, including condensation, evaporation and crystallization;
  • sterilization;
  • pasteurization.

They are therefore particularly useful in some industrial areas such as the petrochemical, food and chemical sectors and must always be kept in perfect conditions to ensure efficiency and safety within the production environment.

Once you determine what type of heat exchanger to select, you need to know some major potential issues to be able to maintain them, such as biofouling, scaling, corrosion pitting, etc. In order to increase the efficiency of your heat exchanger, you will find an understanding of fouling of heat exchangers useful, particularly regarding using eco-friendly water treatment and corrosion migration. The right water solution is crucial regardless of whether your heat exchanger is used for water or crude oil.

Types of heat exchangers

The most used types of industrial heat exchangers are:

  • with plates
  • with shell and tube
  • with finned coils.

The choice of one model or another depends on numerous factors, including the size of the industrial plant, the type of processes that take place inside, and the rules to be respected within the plant.

Furthermore, another major distinction is that between industrial water / air exchangers and industrial air / air exchangers. Most of the manufacturers of these large machines offer both versions, with the necessary differences in price, operation and methods of use.

Industrial water / air exchangers

This type of industrial heat exchanger offers large cooling capacity in a relatively short time, so much so that it is often preferable even to industrial air conditioners. They are chosen for the considerable energy, and therefore economic, savings that they offer to the industrial plants.

This is the right choice for your system if the air inside is oily or dusty. In addition, the water / air exchangers prevent moisture from entering the electrical panel, which is a great way to keep the work environment safe. In order to install this type of exchanger, the temperature outside the plant must be higher than the internal one.

Industrial air / air exchangers

On the other hand, this type is perfect if the temperature outside your system is lower than the internal one. These units require very little maintenance and have a lower cooling capacity than those described above.

It is therefore the machine suitable for smaller systems and environments that require less refrigerating power.

Which one is the suitable heat exchanger for your space?

Within a manufacturing and production site, there are many factors that lead to choosing one type or another of industrial heat exchangers. The only way to be really sure of choosing the right machine is to contact the experts.

They will be able to indicate the type, operation, size and number of heat exchangers needed in an industrial environment, ensuring efficiency, safety and savings on energy consumption.

Before installing a heat exchanger, keep in mind the safety regulations relating to your production sector and the country where the industrial plant is located. Always make sure that the environment is protected in order to have a perfect efficiency of the processes and a complete safety of workers.


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