High-K Heat Exchangers: No Downtime During Maintenance
We recently hosted Sam Campbell of Furlong Industrial Systems, makers of the High-K Heat Exchanger. In his Coffee Break presentation, Sam explained the advantages of High-K’s shell-and-tube design and in which critical applications it works best.
Our Coffee Break webinars are full of information on the latest innovations in HVAC straight from experts on the technologies. Contact your SVL Sales Engineer for an invite to our future sessions.
What makes High-K’s design different from other heat exchangers?
High-K features a shell-and-tube construction with a true counter-flow design for effective heat transfer. But its main advantage is total serviceability.
The High-K features a tube sheet gasket around the tube sheet, with two steel plates sealing it on either side. If a tube fails or needs cleaning, that single tube can be removed and replaced independently of the entire welded tube bundle. This saves on materials and labor costs over the life of the heat exchanger.
A single High-K heat exchanger contains four shells; the load is 25% per shell, plus some redundancy. During cleaning or a slow season, you can isolate one of the tubes for servicing or cleaning while flow continues through the other tubes. This means all maintenance can be performed with no downtime to the system.
How does High-K compare to a plate-and-frame heat exchanger?
High-K’s one-degree approach makes it comparable with plate-and-frame heat exchangers.
They are larger, however, and space is always at a premium in mechanical rooms. To compensate, High-K has a high degree of design flexibility. It can be hung from the ceiling, mounted on a wall, horizontally or vertically, or even insulated and placed outside.
How does it deal with dirty water better than a plate-and-frame?
The number one complaint from maintenance technicians about plate-and-frame exchangers is that cleaning them is demanding. You must remove each plate, acid wash it, replace each gasket, and reassemble it. With High-K, you simply remove a Victaulic end cap and run a tube cleaner through each tube as you would a chiller.
With plate-and-frame exchangers, the dirty water flows through tiny gaps, getting plugged up over time. With High-K, the 3/4-inch straight copper tubes have no u-bend or catch and feature knurling that breaks up the dirt and keeps the flow moving. Because of the large tube design, it doesn’t require cleaning every season. Some critical applications can go an entire year between cleanings.
Which dirty water systems are suitable for the High-K?
The number one application is pairing with cooling towers. Cooling towers are air scrapers, gathering ambient particulate and drawing it into their system fluid.
If you don’t have a heat exchanger between a cooling tower and a chiller or water source heat pump, whatever particulate the strainer misses will get into the system, quickly derating overall capacity. As little as 1/16-inch of scale on a fluid cooling tower can reduce capacity by 30%.
This is especially important for industrial processes or foundries where the air might be full of particulate. If you need to guard against heavy particulate intrusion, plate-and-frame exchangers will get clogged up faster because of their small channels.
To isolate your cooling tower loop and keep that system truly closed, the High-K is the best buffer between that and your cooling device. Its end caps allow for ease of cleaning the dirty cooling tower side of the heat exchanger, and its isolation valves allow for cleaning without shutting down the system side.