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Reducing Energy Costs with Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers

Aug 17, 2007
Finding ways to reduce energy is always a smart way to cut costs, but with the current cost of consumption, conserving energy can make a big impact on the bottom line. With improved technology of heat exchangers, dramatic energy savings are now possible when brazed plate heat exchangers are used in various applications.

What are brazed plate heat exchangers?
Brazed plate heat exchangers aren't a brand of heat exchangers, but a style. The two most common types are tube and shell, and plate and frame. The shell and tube heat exchanger design consists of u-shaped heating elements encased in a cylindrical tube. On the other hand, plate and frame heat exchangers are a "sandwich" of heat conducting plates through which independent circuits push fluids. Brazed plate heat exchangers are a type of plate and frame heat exchanger that is brazed in a vacuum furnace to reduce leaks.

How They Work:
Brazing is the process of melting layers of metals which are used to fuse together close fitting plates, thus creating a sandwich of different layers. Once the bonding metal cools, the result is an unusually strong component engineered for heat transfer. A brazed plate heat exchanger works by conducting unwanted heat through numerous layers of metal encased in a vacuum furnace and releasing the heat into a permissible area.

Heat Exchangers Mean Lower Energy Use:
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the exchanger is its small size and relatively low energy usage. For its size, this type of plate heat exchanger has a lot of muscle. The difference with plate and frame heat exchangers is that liquids actually make contact with the heat conductor unlike with a shell and tube design where liquids can only make contact with the outer shell. In the past, brazed plate heat exchangers were used for refrigeration units up to 80 tons, but today can be used for units up to 160 tons.

Lower Energy Usage; a Powerful Selling Point:
In a highly competitive market, reduced energy usage is a big selling point for end users. If the functionality of a product is similar to the competition, benefits like energy usage win customers. The benefit of reduced usage cost over time allows manufacturers to charge a higher premium while saving the customer money in the long run.

Benefits:
Brazed plate heat exchangers have a reputation for reliability which reduces the overall cost of maintenance and repair even further. The very process of the fluid turbulence over the metals has a natural self cleaning effect that eliminates damage due to build up. Additionally, they are between 50% and 80% smaller than other varieties of heat exchangers. Because of their compact nature, these heat exchangers are not only energy efficient and cost effective, but also adaptable for a variety of different uses.

Uses:
These exchangers are commonly used for refrigeration units, but also ideal for heat pumps, floor heaters, domestic water heaters, swimming pool heating, snow melting appliances, and any type of fluid to fluid heating unit. There are also plenty of industrial uses for brazed heat exchangers such as in hydraulic oil coolers, transmission and engine coolers, and in marine and seawater applications.

The ton capacity of heat exchangers varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Be sure to compare the specifications of various terms of productivity and performance. In today's market, production of goods with high productivity and low cost of ownership is more crucial than ever and engineering products around brazed heat plate exchangers is a step toward meeting that goal.
About the Author
Author is a writer for WCR-Regasketing which specializes in plate
heat exchangers
. For more information you can visit http://www.wcr-regasketing.com
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