You must consider several factors to pick the most suitable heat exchanger for your company. Gasketed plate heat exchangers provide a compact solution and the option to refurbish the plates. Let’s go over all the main benefits.
The different options on the market
Which heat exchanger best suits your heating and cooling system? Do you even need one? Initially, that question is a system issue that those with the best knowledge of heat exchangers at your company need to address. And because there are plenty of alternatives, here are the main options.
In some cases, it’s possible to skip heat exchangers altogether. Using a shunt means mixing warm and cold liquids in the system to get the desired temperature. Sometimes, the fluid is also introduced directly into the system without mixing.
In large systems, however, leaks can become problematic as it’s challenging to troubleshoot and find the root issue. A substantial advantage of systems with heat exchangers is that you can better identify problem seekers. In an extensive network with many heat exchangers, where one is placed behind the other, you know that the leak can only be between two heat exchangers. In a system without a heat exchanger, the leak can be anywhere.
Brazed and gasketed plate heat exchangers
There are two primary types of heat exchangers with water-to-water functionality: brazed and gasketed heat exchangers. Brazed heat exchangers are the most common alternative, and just like their name, the plates are brazed together. This is the cheapest alternative and an excellent option for some heating and cooling systems. They don’t weigh as much as other alternatives, as a lighter material can be used. But as the plates are brazed together, you won’t be able to clean the plates or change parts.
Gasketed plate heat exchangers are thicker and heavier because they are constructed with rubber gaskets inserted between each metal plate. However, they offer the advantages of being disassembable for cleaning purposes and expandable for increased capacity.
4 main benefits of plate heat exchangers in heating and cooling systems
- High adjustability
Gasketed plate heat exchangers are highly adjustable. You can get precisely the design and performance you’re looking for. And if you need to scale up or realize that something was miscalculated, you can continually expand and increase capacity as the plates are adjustable.
- Get new parts and service
How often you’ll need to repair your gasketed plate heat exchanger depends on several factors, such as the manufacturer you choose, what application it’s used in, and how hard and frequently it has to work. But it is not uncommon for well-designed plate heat exchangers to last around 15 years before needing service.
Service and replacement of parts are easy. Here the difference is substantial compared to the lighter, towable brazed plate heat exchangers. They’re cheaper to buy, but since refurbishing them isn’t profitable, you either have to fix them yourself or purchase new ones when needed. The gasketed models are instead made to be taken in for service to be cleaned or to replace parts.
- A compact solution
The plate heat exchanger is more compact and smaller than a shell and tube heat exchanger. In some cases, a plate heat exchanger may be too large and heavy, but brazed heat exchangers and plate heat exchangers are usually quite similar in size and can be used for all types of heating and cooling systems.
- More capable of handling different liquids
Gasketed plate heat exchangers are versatile and can accommodate various types of liquids flowing through the pipes. For example, a solution of water and glycol might be used in scenarios where freezing is a concern. It’s also important to note that brazed heat exchangers aren’t as tolerant to chloride as their gasketed counterparts. Therefore, the decision to use a soldered version should be based on the specific requirements of the application you will use it for.
Final thought: Don’t forget about availability
In today’s challenging global climate, the availability and accessibility of parts has gained significant importance. If maintenance schedules are overlooked and a system suddenly malfunctions or breaks, customers could be left without hot water. As a result, it’s crucial to select a dependable supplier who maintains high stock levels and can deliver parts quickly.
So choose a supplier with service centers in your region. If you operate in Europe, pick a manufacturer in several European locations to avoid long delivery times. To get more information on the subject, continue reading about how to ensure long-term heating and cooling system health with a reliable heat exchanger supplier.