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What's the process of Heat Exchanger

What is the process of heat exchanger?

Heat exchangers are very much important in today’s life. Not only are they present in the simplest of devices but are also found in big industries as well as all machines around the world. A heat exchanger is basically a device found in some machines helping them to transfer heat from one medium to another. They also facilitate efficient transfer of heat between any two objects.

Use of heat exchangers

  • Heat exchangers are found in the radiators of the cars or the air conditioners. The source of heat usually transfers water that cools the engine through the exchanger. The exchanger transfers the heat from the water to the air, leaving the engine cooler.
  • The heat exchangers are also used greatly for the purpose of heating the space during air conditioning or refrigeration.
  • Heavy industries like chemical and petrochemical plants and power plants, oil and petroleum refineries, natural gas processors and sewage treatment facilities.

How does a heat exchanger work?

  • Heat exchangers are classified into two types, according to the arrangement of flow. The two types are basically the parallel-flow and the counter-flow exchangers. The parallel flow exchange involves the two mediums going into the exchanger through the same side of the device. The two fluids enter the heat exchanger from the same side and travel parallel to each other in the whole process.
  • In the counter-flow exchange, just the reverse happens. Here the fluids enter the device from the opposite ends and meet each other in the process of heat exchange. Most exchangers use this flow as it is proven to be more effective than the other process. This is due to the fact that it can transfer more heat from the heating medium to the other medium. In this kind of a set-up, the mediums travel to one another and then the exchanger processes them.
  • Conventionally, the exchangers are designed in a way that the surface area between the two exchanging fluids gets maximised in the process of minimising the resistance to the exchange flow at the same time. Extra fins are installed in both the directions so that the fluids can enter whilst enhancing the efficiency of the exchangers. These fins add to the surface area of the exchangers as well as help in controlling the flow of fluids during the process of exchange.
  • Depending on the size of the exchanger, the temperature will vary during the process of exchange. The temperature also varies according to the position of the device. This temperature is calculated in terms of the Log Mean Temperature Difference or the LMTD. When it becomes difficult to determine the temperature with this method, the NTU method is the most preferred one.


  • As already discussed, a heat exchanger is an equipment that allows the efficient transfer of heat from one medium to another. They are used in air conditioning, refrigeration, sewage treatment, chemical plants and a lot more fields. It is a revolutionary device and lot of major companies are investing in this technology. It is not without any reason that heat exchangers are so popular.
  • Adaptability: Other than energy efficiency, modern exchangers are also adaptable and versatile. They are not only portable but are also flexible.
  • Temperature management: These devices can manage very close approach temperatures because of true counter flow and high temperature transfer efficiency.
  • The heat exchangers can cover the largest of areas and are designed to produce a high turbulent flow and excellent distribution of temperature.
  • The energy efficient heat exchangers can also be maintained very easily. They do not corrode very easily and have larger shelf lives.
  • The heat exchangers also have multiple uses starting from commercial applications to residential purposes.