How Does a Plate Heat Exchanger Work?

Plate heat exchangers are an incredibly efficient method of transferring thermal energy between two fluids, without the fluids mixing together, as demonstrated in the accompanying video. Their efficiency is owed to the design of the plates themselves, specifically the simple yet ingenious use of gaskets to control the flow of fluid across the plates within the heat exchanger. The mechanics of this process are described in great detail with the use of a 3D rendering in the video for those that prefer a visual learning experience.

Video Source

The main concept to understand is that the hotter fluid goes into the heat exchanger through an opening in the upper left side and out through an opening in the lower left. The colder fluid does the opposite, entering through the bottom right and exiting through the upper right. The fluids are then pushed through the heat exchanger and across opposing sides of the internal plates with help from a pump, allowing them to come in close proximity and exchange heat through the plates without touching or mixing. This makes plate heat exchangers ideal for use in everything from the food industry to oil production. Please view the video if you’d like to learn more about plate heat exchangers.