Plate Heat Exchangers in Refrigeration
Plate Heat Exchangers in Refrigeration (1993)-Plate heat exchangers offer a number of advantages for refrigeration applications: Heat transfer coefficients are much higher for plate heat exchangers for both evaporating and condensing duties. This results in smaller heat exchange surfaces in comparison with the equivalent shell and tube exchangers. Fouling rates are five (5) to ten (10) times lower because of the artificially induced turbulence in plate heat exchanger channels. Plate heat exchangers can be rearranged for a new duty without much down-time. The gasketed and welded pair plate heat exchangers are resistant to freeze-up and flow induced vibrations. Because of the high heat transfer coefficients and the narrow gaps between the plates, plate heat exchangers are very compact, requiring a quarter to half of the floor space needed for a horizontal shell and tube heat exchanger. The refrigerant charge is much smaller for plate heat exchangers than for the equivalent shell and tube. For example: the ammonia charge of a 300 T.R. shell and tube flooded chiller is approximately 500 lbs., while the equivalent plate chiller has a charge of less than half of this. Plate heat exchangers are made of stainless steel, titanium or other corrosion resistant metals. When built from the same material, capital costs are always lower for plate heat exchangers in comparison with the equivalent shell and tube design. However, prices can vary when compared with a carbon steel shell and tube heat exchanger depending, on the application and the size of the unit. The low temperature limit for conventional plate heat exchangers is -30°F; the maximum design pressure is 435 psig.
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