Heat exchangers are often seen in different fields, such as air conditioning, chemical plants, and natural gas. One might stop and think, what good can heat exchangers give this machinery?
Plate heat exchangers follow a principle where two or more fluids exchange heat. The same process is also present in the cooling process. There should be a partition inside the mechanism to prevent the two from mixing.
Here are tips a heat exchanger manufacturer has in store to better leverage PHEs to maximum advantage and efficiency.
Manage Heat Exchanger Efficiency
It is essential to look and maintain the improvement and maximisation of the heat exchanger’s efficiency. This is why several industries are looking into processes to achieve the full use of their machinery while maintaining production and not losing money.
Perform Online and Offline Cleaning
Online cleaning may involve re-circulating the ball-type and brush and basket system of the exchanger. This helps avoid foul-smelling build-up and scaling without the need to turn off the machine or stop the operations on the floor to complete.
Offline cleaning can also help in improving the efficiency of the heat exchanger by using bullet-like equipment put into each tube and is pushed using pressurised air.
Establish a Periodic Maintenance Schedule
When there is a regular maintenance schedule set up for heat exchangers, it helps avoid blockage, build-up, or leaks from happening. All industries require this as it helps to keep up heat transfers and reduce costs. Also, check that there is a schedule for cleaning-in-place. With the various steps involved, it is best to do this with offline cleaning.
Set a Schedule to Clean the Plate Heat Exchanger
Some manufacturers provide a standard list of instructions on how to clean a plate heat exchanger. It is to make sure that it will not affect the efficiency and its parts.
Follow the instructions during the cleaning process. Do not worry, as there should be enough space for people to manoeuvre and to do this during the installation.
Reduce the Fouling
When there is a build-up of additional deposits on heat transfer surfaces, it means the PHE is fouling. Imagine what happens in a furnace that is being used continuously, but the chimney is not periodically cleaned of the accumulated ash. There would be a build-up of ashes inside the fireplace, which may make it difficult to get enough heat inside the house.
When this happens, a heat exchanger manufacturer often surmises that it is due to the velocity of the liquids, and the flow rate needs changing from time-to-time. This process can help avoid fouling, which may also result in blockage and reduced performance.
Some issues may not be apparent to the naked eye. Things, such as leakage, fouling, or blockages may only present themselves through either regular manual or automatic maintenance. The efficiency of the heat exchangers should be adequately observed to see if it is dropped or increased, or the flow rate has changed. This way, the problem can be rectified immediately.
Allow for maintenance people to keep detailed charts of everyday operations, so someone can look into it and decide if there are things that need consideration regarding the heat exchangers. Proper maintenance is necessary to ensure that they are in tip-top condition to avoid costly repairs in the future.