In plate heat exchangers, heat is transferred from one fluid to another through a flat metal heat exchanger plate, instead of through a heat exchanger tube wall. Sometimes referred to as plate and frame heat exchangers or flat plate heat exchangers, they are made up of a series of plates held together in a frame with a fixed space between each plate.
Hot fluid flows between alternate spaces between plates, The cold fluid flows through the other set of spaces between plates. Gaskets are used between plates to provide a seal. Plate heat exchangers work well when very large square footages are required in a small footprint.
- High value for overall heat transfer coefficient (U value)
- Compact design compared to shell and tube
- Can be taken apart for easy cleaning and maintenance
A brazed plate heat exchanger is a type of a plate heat exchange that does not need gaskets. Instead, it is brazed together using copper or stainless steel to give a strong, compact construction.