Thermodynamics and Heat Exchanger Efficiency
The science of thermodynamics is universally concerned with the relationship between heat and temperature, and energy and work. Though thermodynamics is by no means simple enough to explain in brief terms, one of its main tenets essentially states that 100% efficiency is unattainable in the real world. As a result of this problem, the right manufacturing and selection of heat exchangers is fundamentally important to increase thermal efficiency to its maximum potential and save on energy costs.
Choosing the Right Heat Exchanger for Your Needs
Choosing the right heat exchanger for you can be a daunting task, because there is no single and best solution. Heat exchanger efficiency is calculated by comparing between the real and perfect performance.
Though perfect performance is calculable, it is unfeasible in the real world, because of the thermodynamic limitation that states nothing can be 100% efficient. The real performance of heat exchangers, however, can be optimized to achieve maximum efficiency by optimizing copious amounts of data for every application.
Simply put; for every heat exchanger and its operation conditions, there exists a solution that minimizes the amount of entropy, while maximizing the amount of heat transfer.
Part of the optimization process requires the selection of a thermally conductive material with the desired properties. A corrosion-resistant material must retain elasticity when dealing with high temperatures and pressure, and continuous contractions and expansions. Size, weight, and cost limitations must then also be accounted for, which requires adjustments to complex flow patterns. The is only a fraction of the inherent complexities of selecting the right heat exchanger. The complexities of heat exchanger design and selection are innumerable and include leakage, cross contamination, corrosion, cleaning, maintenance, capital and running costs, durability, layout, baffle size and number, tube thickness, diameter, and length, stream flow rates, inlet and outlet temperatures, operating pressure, pressure consistency, replacement costs, load fatigue, stresses from heat and pressure on structural components, condensation, stream properties, size constraints, material type, and fouling.
Although many manufacturers of heat exchangers believe they’ve fully optimized their products, technological advances will make the process never-ending. As a result, forethought regarding future expansions and upgrades must be given when installing heat exchangers. Finding the balance between the initial and running cost of a heat exchanger can feel overwhelming.
Given the inherent mathematical and mechanical problems associated with choosing the right heat exchanger, it is exceedingly necessary to consult a professional. There is no simple answer. However, you can obtain help with your selection, or ask about custom jobs, maintenance, cleaning, repair, upkeep costs, future upgrades, or part searches, by visiting the forum on http://mahans.com/ to ask your questions of the experts with industry knowledge, or contact us with any technical or general queries you may have.
The complexities of heat exchanger R&D and continuous new technologies make it an esoteric field and, as a result, it’s essential to contact an expert, like Fluid Dynamics, in the field to reap the benefits of choosing the right heat exchanger. Investing time, money, and effort into finding the right heat exchanger can save you countless hours and plentiful future costs, so it will be worth the initial investment you make.