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The advantages of plate heat exchangers over shell and tube heat exchangers

The advantages of plate heat exchangers over shell and tube heat exchangers

Nowadays that is the plate heat exchangers that are predominantly in use due to their significant advantages over the shell and tube ones in heating supply systems of developed countries (heaters, steam-water heaters STH, water-to-water heaters WWH).
The heat transfer ratio of plate heat exchangers is notably higher (3-5 times) that the shell and tube heat exchangers one.
The weight of plate-type heat exchangers is 3-10 times less than the weight of shell and tube ones depending on their power. The charging pipes can be connected to the plate heat exchanger from only one side. It’s quite easy to carry out the internal examination in this type of heat exchangers.
Another their advantage over the shell and tube ones is that they have less propensity for vibration. The expansion joints in shell and tube heat exchangers lose airtightness even from insignificant vibrations, that can lead to free water fluid depending on how high the pressure is.
The power changes in a plate heat exchanger is done by increasing and decreasing the surface of heat transfer that can be done simply by changing the amount of plates in a package. At the same, this process is quite difficult if we use shell and tube heat exchangers.
Among another substantial points we should mention that plate heat exchangers thermal insulation is not required, as well as there is no need to perform any repairs during a quite long period of exploitation.
It is not necessary to clean plate heat exchangers from deposits. There are two types of cleaning – mechanical and chemical. The type of cleaning we should use depends on deposits composition.
The mechanical cleaning gets rid of calcium deposits. For this purpose, one should demount the equipment and clean it with a brush, for example, or with something similar. Such cleaning will take about four hours with small heat exchangers, and about eight hours for the bigger ones with a bigger amount of plates. Before demounting it, one should measure the platen spacing and prepare a sample based on its size. After fitting up the equipment the platen spacing should be equal to the primary one to recover tensioner zip ties.
The chemical cleaning is applied when tenacious materials like magnesium and silicon are deposited. Depending on the deposit composition the cleaning solution should be chosen. That is how the chemical cleaning is done. There is a circulation of the cleaning substance in the heat exchanger through a special equipment that has a pump and a container for dilution of solution. To complete such cleaning charging and discharging pipes should be equipped with fitting groups or special clamping shoulders with fitting groups. Carbon steel pipes should be protected from the aggressive chemical solutions by isolating them from the heat exchanger before the cleaning.