Some refrigeration systems, particularly those operating at low evaporating temperatures (e.g., home refrigerators and freezers), employ an additional heat exchanger to transfer heat from the liquid going to the expansion device to the vapor going to the compressor. The internal heat exchanger, also called a liquid to suction line heat exchanger (LL/SL HX), increases the cooling effect by reducing the quality of the vapor at the evaporator inlet as heat is removed from the leaving liquid of the condenser. Although the heat transfer between the refrigerant in the expansion device and the suction line increases the refrigeration capacity per unit mass flow rate, it also causes the compression to extend further into the superheated vapor region, where the compressor inlet draws in a gas of higher specific volume (resulting in a decrease in mass flow rate) and the compressor work per unit mass is greater.
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When should we clean a heat exchanger internally
Importance of cleanliness
During the operational lifetime of most heat exchange equipment, various chemicals or solids (known as foulants) will "fall out" or be drawn out of feed stock solutions due to changes in temperature. These solids can adhere to the walls of tubes, pipes and the inside of valves and flanges of the equipment, causing the equipment to become dirty. Over time, these contaminants will aggravate, drastically changing fluid flow rates through the exchanger, causing loss of efficiency and functionality, affecting performance and heat transfer, and increasing the risk of unsafe operations. To avoid such results, operators should periodically remove or "purge" the buildup of chemicals and residues lining the tubes before contaminants slow or stop heat transfer from the coils to the water. Most of the methods are known as "descaling" the tubes, because the expelled sediments or contaminants appear as small scales that resemble fish scales. Many refineries and petrochemical plants plan for periodic cleaning of heat exchangers during repair operations. Heat exchangers are typically cleaned every one to three years, depending on type, size, and service. Keeping heat exchangers free of sludge buildup, hard water deposits, chemicals and solids through proper and thorough cleaning improves operating efficiency and prolongs the life cycle of the exchanger. Conversely, heat exchangers with extended run times beyond suggested cleaning dates may experience reduced effectiveness, reduced lifespan, and in the worst case, failure during operations. Effective cleaning of the heat exchanger is also important to ensure that the equipment can pass a draft inspection test and/or an internal rotating inspection systems test. Essentially, these tests involve probes that are inserted into the tubes to measure the wall thickness. If tubes are not cleaned effectively, test results may fluctuate and lead to false readings. Inaccurate test results will also lead to equipment inefficiencies, failures, or operation beyond the safety horizon of the life cycle.
External and internal heat exchange flow
What is external flux in heat transfer?
A heat exchanger allows thermal transfer between two or more fluid media, this includes liquid and gaseous media and combinations (air to water or air to air, etc.). There are two types of heat exchangers: external and internal heat exchangers. The difference between these is the purpose, to add or extract heat from the working fluid for the former and to recover heat to or from the working fluid to increase the efficiency of the heating or cooling system. In some cases this is done with 2 devices and sometimes within the same device. In all cases, a heat exchanger follows thermodynamic laws, the first of which is that thermal energy always moves from higher to lower. There are also 4 types each: Parallel Flow, Counter Flow, Cross Flow and Counter Flow/Cross Flow.