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How to make a heat exchanger more efficient


The efficiency of the heat exchanger depends on several important factors that must be taken into account.

Temperature difference

The temperature difference between the hot liquid and the coolant is very important when designing a heat exchanger.

Lower coolant temperatures take more heat from the hot liquid than warmer coolant temperatures. For example, if you drank a glass of drinking water at room temperature, it is much more effective to cool it with ice than with cold water alone. The same principle applies to heat exchangers.

Flow rate

Another important factor is the flow of the liquids in both the primary and the secondary side of the heat exchanger.

Higher flow increases the exchanger's ability to transfer heat, but greater flow also means greater mass, which can make it more difficult to dissipate the energy.


In general, the most efficient way to install a heat exchanger is to have the fluids flow in countercurrent (so if the coolant moves from left to right, the hot fluid moves from right to left).

For shell & tube heat exchangers, the coolant must enter at the lowest inlet position to ensure that the heat exchanger is always filled with water.

With air-cooled heat exchangers, it is important to consider the air flow when installing a cooler. Any clogged part of the core will compromise cooling capacity.

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