Heat exchangers operate by intermittently passing hot and cold liquid contents across opposite sides of a conducive thermal metal. The hot liquid runs through the metal into the cold liquid without making any physical contact. This process is facilitated by fluid velocity, turbulence and temperature differentials and brings about the heat transfer rate depending on the heat exchanger structure. The shell and tube and the plate type heat exchangers both are quality heat exchanger solutions and work within the same operational means i.e. through thermal conductions, however, they have major differences in their structures.
Let’s discover the differences between these two types of heat exchanger models.
Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger
As the name suggests, this variant of heat exchangers consists of small tubes within a shell-like cylinder. Having been developed over a 100 years ago, the shell and tube heat exchangers have gained a lot of popularity in the market. The cost of production for these exchangers have also been substantially reduced over the years with a design that makes it easily disassembled.
Plate Heat Exchanger
These type of heat exchangers are quite similar to the shell and tube type in terms of set up. Since, instead of a bundle of tubes, this type is constructed with various layers of plates stacked upon each other to create channels for liquid to pass through, it brings better efficiency of heat transfer. The plate heat exchanger falls short in terms of flexibility when compared to shell and tube exchangers but makes for it in cost and overall usage functionality. In terms of heat exchanger servicing, it also stands tall due to its compact built making it easily accessed when carrying out maintenance.
So, what does an engineer prefer for the best heat transfer solution? A plate type heat exchanger! Why? Here’s the reason- Even though shell and tube heat exchangers have been present for over a century, plate heat exchangers are perceived to be the best value heat exchanger to go for due to their low cost, compact structure and ease of maintenance. Engineers also prefer the plate heat exchangers as parts can be easily replaced and also due to compatibility with sea water coolants for plates made from titanium. We at VARALKA deal in heat exchangers and can give in-depth suggestions of what would suit you best, please do contact us for more information.