A plate heat exchanger refers to a type of heat exchanger that uses metal plates for the transfer of heat between two fluids. The main advantage of a plate heat exchanger versus a conventional heat exchanger is that the fluids are exposed to a larger surface area. The reason for this is that the fluids are spread over the plates. This makes the transfer of heat possible and greatly boosts the speed of change of temperature.
Plate heat exchangers are incredibly common and small brazed versions are now used in the hot-water sections of many combination boilers. The efficiency of the transfer of heat for such a minuscule physical size has increased the DHW flow rate of combination boilers. Undoubtedly, the small plate heat exchanger has transformed domestic heating. The large commercial versions utilize gaskets between the plates. On the other hand, the smaller versions are usually brazed.
The main idea behind the heat exchanger is the use of containment vessels like pipes to heat or cool a fluid by the transfer of heat between it and a second fluid. Most of the time, the exchanger consists of a coiled pipe that contains one fluid, which passes through a chamber that contains a second fluid. Usually, the pipe walls are made out of a metal or another substance that boasts high thermal conductivity. In many cases, the outer casing of the larger chamber is coated with thermal insulation or made out of plastic. The reason for this is that thermal insulation or plastic will discourage the escape of heat from the exchanger.
Dr. Richard Seligman invented the plate heat exchanger (PHE) in 1923 and revolutionized the methods of cooling fluids and indirect heating. To learn more about plate heat exchangers and their many advantages, don’t hesitate to contact us.