Heat Transfer Equipment
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Heat Transfer Equipment
In the most basic terms, heat transfer is comprised of two components: flow of heat and temperature. The flow of heat represents the movement of energy from one place to another and temperature is the measure of thermal energy available. Thermal energy is also known as kinetic energy, or energy in motion. We will focus on fluid heat exchangers, since that is what we at Cooling Technology, Inc specialize in.
There are three primary mechanisms for heat transfer: (1) conduction, (2) convection, and (3) radiation. Conduction is the heat transferred through matter by communicating of energy with no displacement to the particles involved. Convection is the circulatory movement that occurs at a non – uniform temperature due to a variation in density. Radiation is the process of emission, transmission, and absorption of radial energy. (all definitions courtesy of http://www.merriamwebster.com/).
In a fluid heat transfer system the fluids may be separated by a solid wall so they never mix or the fluids may be directly contacted. Heat exchangers are categorized by their flow arrangement: parallel flow, cross flow, or counter flow. In parallel flow heat transfer equipment the two fluids enter an exchanger on one end and travel parallel to each other until they reach the other end. In cross flow heat exchangers, the fluids travel perpendicular to each other, and in counter flow heat transfer systems the fluids begin at opposite ends and travel towards each other.
Two primary pieces of equipment used are condensers and evaporators. Condensers cool refrigerant vapor back to a liquid state in their refrigerant cycles. Evaporators heat a liquid to a boil so the liquid changes to a vapor.
Fluid heat transfer systems circulate thermal fluid through process equipment to maintain an even consistent temperature. Tanks, pipes, pumps, and heating and/or cooling systems are used to circulate water, steam, hydrocarbon oils, and glycols. Heat sources include electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, and solar power. Cooling sources primarily use air and water. Glycols are added to water to prevent freezing in process temperatures below 32°F.
The most common type of heat transfer equipment is a shell and tube exchanger which consists of a series of small tubes with the fluid flowing through these tubes. The other liquid runs over these inner tubes while encased in a larger shell.
Brazed Plate and Plate & Frame heat exchangers are another type which direct the flow through a waffled surface area. The fluids are separated by plates. This heat exchanger can be more efficient than a shell and tube heat transfer system.
Contact Cooling Technology, Inc and one of our technical engineers will help you design a heat transfer system to meet your custom needs.