The plate type heat exchanger is the most efficient type of heat exchangers comparing to shell and tube, spiral or any other heat exchangers. Plate heat exchangers offer the best solution for thermal problems, by giving a wide pressure and temperature limits.
To evaluate plate heat exchangers:
From outside all plate heat exchangers look the same. Most of the differences found inside of them, in the sealing technology used Gaskets and the plate design. Meanwhile, to evaluate a plate heat exchanger, we need not only to explore the details of the product but also, we need to analyze the level of research and development done by the manufacturer and post commissioning service and spare parts availability.
Here are some of the most notable advantages of a plate heat exchangers:
Flexibility: Plate Heat Exchanger has a framework consists of heat transfer plates. Therefor it can be easily extended to increase capacity. Gasketed plate heat exchangers are easy to open and get cleaned.
Has got high turbulence in the media: which gives higher convection and results in efficient heat transfer. That gives higher heat transfer and more efficient operation. The high turbulence contributes also as self-cleaning effect.
Compact: That plate heat exchangers take much less space than shell and tube types.
Variable thermal length: When plates have a narrow pattern, pressure drop gets higher and the heat exchanger is more effective. This is called long thermal channel heat exchanger type. On the other hand, when plates have a wide pattern, pressure drop gets smaller and the heat transfer coefficient accordingly is smaller somehow. This is called short thermal channel heat exchanger type.
In today’s highly competitive, technology world, Plate heat exchangers are the most demanded by every industry, commercial or governmental entity. For their cost effectiveness, efficiency, high performance, minimal maintenance/service.
Plate & frame heat exchangers have been the superior in satisfying daily needs over many other types of heat exchangers. Heat exchangers are daily performing critical duties in a wide variety of applications around the world.
In chemical and petrochemical plants, high alloy and stainless-steel plates have been performing extensive duties. Titanium plates on space saving shipboard units are being utilized in a variety of seawater cooling duties.
Design of plate and frame heat exchangers:
PHE or plate heat exchanger has a special design that is suited to transfer heat between media and low-pressure fluids. Brazed heat exchangers, semi-welded and welded are used for heat exchange between high-pressure fluids or where a more compact product is required. The plates used in a plate and frame heat exchanger are obtained by one piece pressing of metal plates. Stainless steel is a commonly used metal for the plates because of its ability to withstand high temperatures, its strength, and its corrosion resistance. Plates mostly spaced by a rubber sealing called gaskets, that are cemented/glued into the section around the edge of the plate. The plates then pressed so they can form troughs at the right angles and to the direction of the flow of the liquid running within the channels inside the heat exchanger. The troughs are arranged to interlink with the other plates which forms the channel with gaps of 1.3–1.5 mm between the plates. The plates produce an extremely large surface area, which allows for the fastest possible transfer.