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Old 11-17-2019, 02:40 PM   #1
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Heat Exchangers, Types and explainations.

For those that aren't familiar with heat exchangers, and those that are, I encourage you to have a look at these two videos. I've worked with heat exchangers since I was in school in my teens to learn industrial maintenance mechanics. I learned so new stuff about these heat exchangers and they are the two predominate heat exchangers found on our boats. The videos can also help pin point problems, make adjustments, and repairs.


Most common, tube type.



Second most common, plate type. This one is really good.
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Old 11-17-2019, 04:10 PM   #2
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Very nice tutorials. Wish I had them when I was starting out my career. I learned how they are built the hard way by cleaning them early in my career.

I worked with heat exchangers most of my life as a chemical engineer working in the engineering and construction industry maintaining, designing and building refineries, chemical plants, etc.

Plate exchangers were relatively rare in that industry and are also rare in boats as well. They are sometimes used in water heating systems for boats.

The video discusses single pass and multi pass shell and tube heat exchangers. For boat engines, the main heat exchanger is often mult ipass. It was a three pass heat exchanger on my Yanmar 6LY engine. All others: the transmission, lube oil and air coolers were all single pass.

Fouling and leaking are the two concerns we have with marine engine heat exchangers. Fouling usually occurs on the raw water side (always the tube side) and consists of calcium and magnesium compounds that precipitate out of sea water. These are cleaned mechanically by rodding the ID of the tubes or circulating an acid through the tubes.

The shell side is usually not cleaned for two reasons: it has relatively clean stuff on it like lube oil and coolant and the lube/coolant heat exchangers cannot be disassembled to get to the shell side to clean them. If they are fouled on the shell side (rare) or leak, then they must be replaced.

The only heat exchanger that can be disassembled for cleaning the shell side is the air cooler. You remove the end caps and then slide the tube bundle out (easier said than done). The shell side of the tube bundle can then be cleaned with a cleaning solution in an ultrasonic bath or with a pressure washer.

These heat exchangers develop leaks at the shell to tube bundle joint due to corrosion. These can sometimes be cleaned up and machined and reassembled with new gaskets and o-rings. But if too bad they must be replaced.

Dealing with the various heat exchangers on marine engines is a big part of routine engine maintenance.

David
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:49 PM   #3
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Pretty cool, David. I've been messing around with boats for a while. Mostly freshwater fishing and ski boats around 16 to 25 feet. Some heat exchangers can be big pains to diagnose without the tools to pressurize the unit. I'm planning to keel cool my boat. That should eliminate the heat exchanger problems.
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