1: How does a heat exchanger work?
A heat exchanger is a device for transferring heat energy from a liquid or gas, to another liquid or gas without the two ever coming into contact with each other. A typical shell and tube heat exchanger will contain a tube bundle inside an outer shell, or body. Cold water flows through these tubes, whilst hot water, or gas flows around the outside of the tubes, enabling the heat from the hot water or gas to be transferred to the colder water inside the tubes.
A good example of how the process works are swimming pools, where most are heated via a boiler, using Gas, LPG or Biomass as the energy source. In theory, the most efficient way to heat the pool would be to circulate the pool water directly through the boiler. But were this to happen, the chemicals used in the pool water to keep it safe for use, would quickly corrode and damage vital parts inside the boiler, leading to premature failure and a costly replacement.
However, by using a heat exchanger to act as an ‘interface’ between the boiler water circuit and the pool water circuit, the boiler is protected from damage and the pool water is quickly heated up to the required temperature; the pool water passing through the central ‘tube core’, whilst the hot boiler water circulates around the outside of the tubes, transferring heat energy to the pool water.
More examples of applications where Bowman heat exchangers are used.