How does a heat exchanger function?

Previously unused water energy can be used for other processes by using a heat exchanger. This technique saves resources and increases the efficiency of the entire system. As a result, energy costs are saved - sometimes significantly. It is worthwhile to check the use of a heat exchanger nearly everywhere where heat is released as a “waste product”.

The principle of the heat exchanger is relatively simple. It makes use of a simple physical law of nature from the field of entropy. Essentially this involves nature always striving for a balance or equilibrium - in this case, of the heat. If boiling water is mixed with cold water, the result is a temperature in the middle range. The boiling water has dissipated its energy and thus heated the ice water.
The special feature of the heat exchanger is that the same heat exchange process takes place here but the two media are spatially separated from each other. Mixing does not take place, each medium remains in its circuit.

Both media are pumped into the heat exchanger by metal chambers or metal pipes separated from each other, As metal has a high heat conductivity, heat can be exchanged between both media through the separating walls. For the best possible level of efficiency, the heat exchanger is individually calculated for the respective purpose of use.

 Stainless steel heat exchangers from Viesel

Advantages when using a heat exchanger

  • Use of waste heat
  • Cooling of the output medium
  • Cost reduction due to saving energy
  • Conservation of resources
  • Improved efficiency in the complete process

Which media can be used?

The medium is the material that flows through the heat exchanger. Technically there are hardly any restrictions - which medium should be heated or cooled on site is the only decisive factor. Air-air, air-water, water-water or water-oil are often referred to. They refer to the two media between which heat should be exchanged.

The heat exchange process does not only function with water but quite generally with all liquids, oils as well as vapour, air and gases.
As the media used is strictly separated from each other when flowing through the heat exchanger, mixing never takes place. For this reason, it is not a problem using two completely different media within a heat exchanger. For example, used water or heating water can be heated using the waste gases by means of a waste gas heat exchanger from combustion.
Particularly with special heat exchanger construction, there are hardly any restrictions concerning feasibility.

 Stainless steel heat exchangers from Viesel

Overview of the media used

  • Water
  • Gases
  • Oils
  • Vapour
  • All common liquids and gases

 

In principle it only depends on the type of production plant/type of sector in which the heat exchanger is used. Naturally this can also involve plum jam, apple juice or shaving foam from which the heat created by production is removed.

Who benefits from the use of a heat exchanger?

Nowadays heat exchangers are used in various sectors and application areas. However they all have one thing in common: They help save energy and therefore costs.

Heat is produced as a by-product in many industrial processes. For example, with plastics processing, the plastic must first be melted, injected in the injection mould and then cooled again.

This previously lost energy can be made use of with the aid of a heat exchanger. The heat of the finished plastic parts is then no longer given off into the environment. Instead it is sensibly used to preheat the injection mould to suitably control the temperature. This procedure is also called heat recovery. The previously “lost” heat is recovered and retained in the process.

It is worthwhile to check the use of a heat exchanger nearly everywhere where heat is released as a “waste product”.

There are many sectors and processes in which heat exchangers are used. In principle, there are hardly any limits set. Most tasks can be covered by using an individually produced special heat exchanger.

Stainless steel heat exchangers from Viesel

Possible areas of application for heat exchangers

 

In principle it only depends on the type of production plant/type of sector in which the heat exchanger is used. Naturally this can also involve plum jam, apple juice or shaving foam from which the heat created by production is removed.