Common Heat Exchanger Mistakes
Heat exchangers are essential for regulating the temperatures of fluids within systems in order for processes such as refining and cooling cycles to operate efficiently. Heat exchangers also needed to heat up or cool down products during their processing stages in order to meet processing requirements for different products and their varying viscosities, using innovative designs to optimize efficiency and efficacy. It is apt to say that heat exchangers are indispensable in numerous industries like the power generation and oil refining sectors, as such it is imperative for everyone in these industries to understand the most common heat exchanger mistakes.
Inaccurate Design Parameters
The most crucial aspect of any system is its design parameters, so it might come as a surprise to some that providing incorrect information to designers is one of the most common mistakes. If the information provided to the designer is inaccurate, then the unit they install will not perform optimally.
Often, this mistake is made because seemingly inconsequential or unnecessary information is overlooked and not highlighted to the designer. While it may at times seems as if heat exchanger engineers require an inordinate amount of information to simply install a single unit, they are experts in their field and know which variables will affect the performance and longevity of the equipment. As such, trust your engineer and provide any information they request as accurately and as honestly as possible.
Excessive fouling is another common mistake and it is often the result of choosing the wrong type of heat exchanger. The consequences of this issue can range from resulting in a minor inconvenience such as requiring more frequent cleaning, to complete material failure. It can also reduce operational efficiency and lead to an uptick in energy consumption.
To prevent such a mistake, consult your engineer for the ideal heat exchanger for your needs, which should have the appropriate surface and tube design to create sufficient turbulence to reduce fouling. It is also important to maintain a temperature range appropriate for your unit.
Using the Wrong Materials
While cost is certainly a concern for any business, in the case of heat exchangers, cheaper does not mean better. When choosing the material for your heat exchanger, you need to take into account its susceptibility to corrosion and chemical reaction as heat exchangers might come into contact with a variety of substances. Hence, the ideal material for your heat exchanger should be hygienic, hard-wearing, and provide a good thermal characteristic. You should also make sure to do your research and consult your engineer.
Inadequate Maintenance and Cleaning
Last but not least, after the heat exchanger has been installed, it is incredibly important to remember to regularly perform maintenance and cleaning. After having the unit in place, it is easy to forget about it but this can be a fatal mistake. Each component of the heat exchanger requires periodic inspections to ensure that they are functioning optimally. As such, make sure to pick a heat exchanger that is easy to clean and maintain.