Maintaining your plate heat exchangers for optimum performance
February 3, 2023
By CLR PRO for the Blue Print
By CLR PRO for the Blue Print
Heat exchangers play a big role in our day-to-day lives at work and at home. It’s not something you might think about regularly, if at all. That is, until they’re not operating properly.
Heat exchangers are used to transfer heat from one fluid to another. They are often found in industrial or commercial settings, such as power plants, chemical plants, and food processing facilities, as well as in some things you’d find in any facility, like refrigerators and air conditioners.
One common type of heat exchanger is a plate heat exchanger, which uses a series of plates arranged in a stack with a small gap between them, separated by gaskets, to transfer heat from one fluid to another.
While plate heat exchangers are easy to maintain (as the plates can be removed and cleaned individually) they are also sensitive to buildup or fouling. The small gaps between the plates can become clogged with debris or other contaminants, leading to a slew of issues.
If a plate heat exchanger is not properly maintained:
It can become less efficient and may function differently than intended. Over time, dirt, debris, or other contaminants build up on the plates, which can reduce the heat transfer efficiency of the device.
The plates may also become damaged or degraded, affecting their ability to transfer heat effectively. In some cases, it may need to be replaced if it becomes too damaged or inefficient from a lack of maintenance.
Suddenly, what seemed like minor issues can cost your business significantly in energy costs and unplanned downtime.
So, how can you avoid these issues?
Simple. Set up a regular maintenance program integrating the following steps:
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintenance
An important first step: Read the manual. Check for recommended cleaning products, tools to use, procedures, how to clean the parts, and how to remove the parts that need removing, etc. Using manufacturer recommendations can help avoid further issues.
Keep it clean
Keeping the heat exchanger clean can help ensure proper heat transfer. Regularly flush the heat exchanger, using a cleaning solution to help remove any dirt or debris accumulated on the plates. Be sure to use a cleaning solution that has EPA Safer Choice ingredients to help avoid weakening or damaging rubber gaskets and corrosion on metal.
Check for damage or wear; Repair or replace damaged parts
Inspect the heat exchanger regularly for signs of damage or wear, such as leaks or corrosion. There are a lot of factors that go into how much wear and tear you may actually experience:
Maintain any related equipment
Properly maintain any pumps or other equipment used with your heat exchanger to ensure they are operating efficiently. Be sure to reference the user’s manual.
Get ahead of it
Set up a preventative maintenance routine based on how often you notice the buildup forming. When buildup doesn’t have a chance to accumulate, cleaning will go much quicker, resulting in shorter equipment downtime.
Following these best practices and regularly maintaining your plate heat exchanger, you can optimize its performance and extend its service life.
Content originally from CLR PRO. Reused here with permission.