Application and Development of Plate Heat Exchanger in Refrigeration Technology

Application and Development of Plate Heat Exchanger in Refrigeration Technology

11 May 2020

Plate heat exchanger is a kind of efficient and compact heat exchanger. It was first developed as a continuous low-temperature sterilizer in 1880's, and began to be used in food industry in 1920's. Plate heat exchanger has some unique features in manufacture and use. Therefore, at present, plate heat exchanger has been widely used in petroleum, chemical industry, light industry, electric power, metallurgy, machinery, energy and other industrial fields, becoming a very competitive variety in the heat exchanger family.


In the refrigeration technology, heat exchanger is an indispensable refrigeration equipment, such as condenser, evaporator, regenerator and intercooler. It not only accounts for more than 50% of the whole refrigeration equipment in weight, volume and metal consumption, but also has a significant impact on the refrigeration performance. Therefore, strengthening the heat transfer of the refrigeration heat exchanger, reducing the weight and volume, reducing the metal consumption have always been the development direction of the refrigeration technology. Now there is a new type of all welded plate heat exchanger in the refrigeration technology application, and shows strong development potential. In addition to the general characteristics of plate heat exchanger, plate heat exchanger for refrigeration also has the following characteristics compared with shell side tube heat exchanger for refrigeration. The refrigerant charge is small. This is conducive to environmental protection and reduce operating costs. The volume of shell side and tube side of shell and tube heat exchanger is very large. In order to make the refrigeration system work normally, a large number of refrigerants must be filled, and may cause environmental pollution. On the one hand, the size of plate heat exchanger is small, on the other hand, the space size is also small. Low freezing tendency and high antifreeze performance because water can form high turbulence in plate heat exchanger at low flow rate, and the temperature distribution is very uniform, thus reducing the freezing tendency of chilled water. Even if freezing occurs, it can bear the pressure produced by freezing better than shell and tube heat exchanger, and it can be used after freezing. In most cases, the refrigeration system does not need to be equipped with a gas-liquid separator. And it is easy to realize the unit, simple and convenient installation, maintenance and transportation can save costs and reduce costs.


Compared with the traditional shell and tube heat exchanger, the plate heat exchanger for refrigeration has obvious development advantages. Since it was applied in the refrigeration plant in the 1970s, it has been paid more and more attention, especially in many developed countries, such as Europe, the United States, Australia and so on.