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Old 11-13-2015, 02:18 PM   #1
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Low cost pool heat exchangers

Is there any reason why a low cost titanium shell and tube heat exchanger should not be used to cool a marine diesel? These units are primarily for salt water pools with chlorine but they state they can be used for marine cooling, including oil and salt water. https://www.brazetek.com/bt-stx-85-2...heat-exchanger
At $380 and considering its titanium it seems like an ideal substitute. But there's little info online of any marine experience with them, except an old study by the navy on titanium fouling with growth at low temperatures.

My air charge cooler is an old Bowman unit with a cast iron sleeve that is raw water cooled and was very badly corroded on the inside. I could imagine the engine vibrations could be a factor with a lightweight cooler like the one above.


Thanks,
Robert.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:02 PM   #2
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If you're handy at fabrication it wouldnt be a problem. It really doesnt need to be bolted to the engine, it could be on a stand or bulkhead, so vibration wouldnt be an issue. It does need to be big enough and able to flow enough raw and fresh water to get the job done. Heat rejection calculations are available to check that. Most folks think diesel engines and associated systems, very much especially marine diesels, are akin to rocket science. It just aint so
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:09 PM   #3
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Not for use in:
● Salt water pools.
● Marine applications.
● Liquids containing hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid and other chemicals known to corrode 316L stainless steel.

http://www.brazetek.com/docs/pdf/st-quick-sizing.pdf

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Old 11-13-2015, 03:10 PM   #4
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Looks like it would work no question there.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SCOTTEDAVIS View Post
Not for use in:
● Salt water pools.
● Marine applications.
● Liquids containing hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid and other chemicals known to corrode 316L stainless steel.

http://www.brazetek.com/docs/pdf/st-quick-sizing.pdf

They offer stainless and titanium. I think those specs are for the SS versions. For the ti version they have:
Applications:
Hot Tub/Spa/Swimming Pool Heating
Marine (Salt Water) Applications
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:15 PM   #6
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Sized appropriately it should work fine. As Kulas said this stuff ain't rocket science, especially heat exchangers.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by R_p_ryan View Post
They offer stainless and titanium. I think those specs are for the SS versions. For the ti version they have:
Applications:
Hot Tub/Spa/Swimming Pool Heating
Marine (Salt Water) Applications

I don't know enough about Ti, I wonder how such a noble metal plays with other metals in in our engines. I like the prices and the idea of using non boat stuff. Looking for information from others.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:10 PM   #8
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The Bowman stuff is available here in the USA, they have "stockists" here. A little pricey tho. I made my own replacement housing some years ago out of PVC pipe and bronze nipples (my aluminum end caps were fine) It holds the regular 4" x 10" core and fits right where it belongs.
I has worked fine for years since w/o worries about rusted off hose stubs sinking your boat. Just a few bucks of materials makes a better than original housing. I think I posted a couple of pictures / drawings a while ago.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:16 PM   #9
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The Bowman stuff is available here in the USA, they have "stockists" here. A little pricey tho. I made my own replacement housing some years ago out of PVC pipe and bronze nipples (my aluminum end caps were fine) It holds the regular 4" x 10" core and fits right where it belongs.
I has worked fine for years since w/o worries about rusted off hose stubs sinking your boat. Just a few bucks of materials makes a better than original housing. I think I posted a couple of pictures / drawings a while ago.
Fantastic - I just cleaned mine out and contemplated something similar. I'm glad to hear it's working well' because cast iron seems like a poor material and pvc seems more logical.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:02 AM   #10
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I use a brazetek exchanger for my cabin bus heater loop off the engine coolant.

Seems made well enough and no visible corrosion after 2.5 years living in the bilge...and that is their generic cheaper model. Not sure what it is made out of.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:57 AM   #11
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I dunno, in their comprehensive list of applications they make no mention of engine cooling.

https://www.brazetek.com/applications

I'd certainly call them first, and you'd have to know exactly what is needed to cool your particular engine (you can look up your RW pump on Depco's site and see how many GPM it puts out at different RPM as a starting point), and even then I'd be very wary about taking such a huge gamble. Can't get my head around how this would tie into the coolant tank and overflow tank.
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Old 11-14-2015, 12:31 PM   #12
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Can't get my head around how this would tie into the coolant tank and overflow tank.
I think Robert's intent was as an air charge cooler (between the turbo and the intake to the engine). If it flowed enough air (and that would be my question...The air side does not look very big) I don't see why the concept wouldn't work with a cooler designed for this type of work. Lots of Turbo cars use aftermarket Air to water intercoolers to do the same thing. Some are factory fitted (New M3 BMW for instance). They need to be sized appropriately though for both cooling and air flow..



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Old 11-15-2015, 06:26 PM   #13
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I'm also contemplating options for converting my exhaust manifold from raw water cooled to fresh water cooled. Where the raw water goes through the manifold I'd replumb it to go through the titanium exchanger, and then in to the wet elbow. Then add the exchanger to the fresh water loop. Others have added the manifold into the FW circuit without adding extra cooling, but I would rather have excess raw water cooling capacity and let the thermostat in the fresh water loop keep the engine at the correct operating temp.
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I think Robert's intent was as an air charge cooler (between the turbo and the intake to the engine). If it flowed enough air (and that would be my question...The air side does not look very big) I don't see why the concept wouldn't work with a cooler designed for this type of work. Lots of Turbo cars use aftermarket Air to water intercoolers to do the same thing. Some are factory fitted (New M3 BMW for instance). They need to be sized appropriately though for both cooling and air flow..



Passing seawater through the shell side means chemical cleaning or disassembly is the only way to clean it. Not good. You would have to run the antifreeze coolant through those small connectors.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:20 AM   #15
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Passing seawater through the shell side means chemical cleaning or disassembly is the only way to clean it. Not good. You would have to run the antifreeze coolant through those small connectors.
Actually on this type of air to water cooler, it's the air that passes through the shell side and over an internal radiator assembly that carries the cooling fluid. The picture above does not make that very clear, sorry!

You are right on the cleaning though...It would be virtually impossible to clean the radiator side easily. Chemicals would be necessary.

This brings up another caveat.....While the shell may be titanium, I seriously doubt the internal heat exchanger is (at that price). Most of those are aluminum and would likely fail in short order in a salt water environment..(hence the Manufacturers warning). Water intrusion into your engine intake could then result in catastrophic engine failure..
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:26 AM   #16
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The OP has a Perkins T6.354, and Googling around I find that the NA001545 heat exchanger for that engine is $500 to $600, compared to the $380 for the pool one.

Really? Is there a world in which potentially saving $120 is a smart trade-off between installing something that was engineered for the particular application versus something that has no equivalent engineering, history, or installation support; where the cost of catastrophic failure is potentially the entire loss of the vessel (with potential loss of life); where survey results and/or resale value would not matter? I don't live in that world, but maybe it's inhabitants have a noticeable mark or flag that would allow me to give them a very wide berth.

Edit: Oh wait, yes they do - these are the Darwin award recipients. Still would like that early warning system though.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:13 PM   #17
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The OP has a Perkins T6.354, and Googling around I find that the NA001545 heat exchanger...
... these are the Darwin award recipients. Still would like that early warning system though.
Oh come on, let's not start quoting darwin awards. To be clear - the post is a question about whether or not a titanium pool heat exchanger can used to cool a marine diesel.

The titanium exchanger I was looking at is interesting. I was hoping to hear positively either success or failure in its use on boats. Ridicule for contemplating a cost efficient alternative, or in my case upgrade, was the last thing I was expecting.

My Mainship has a stock domestic water that has the coolant loop running through it. If that failed it could drain my entire fresh water coolant loop due to the higher pressure in it. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Theory isn't good enough, it needs to have years of experience to dictate if it will work - with the dimensions of thermal stress, corrosion, fouling, vibration, resistance to chemicals in its vicinity. This is why I'm asking the question. Let's say several people replied saying they work brilliantly and are superior to the stock ones that came with my 1977 engine. I'd want to know. Or let's say a single person replied saying "I tried it but it failed after a season due to bad weld joints" I'd be just as delighted with either answer.

I traverse a treacherous bar regularly that has claimed lots of lives. I also worked search and rescue for five years and pulled people, dogs, and bodies out of the water. When it comes to boating I'm a safety freak. Which is why I don't like my raw water cooled exhaust manifold. Or the cast iron sleeved intercooler. Because these can corrode and fail when under it's greatest stress, like trying to maneuver around a sneaker wave like the one I videod two days ago (see San Francisco Potato Patch

The part number you quoted, from Mr. Cool says:
"Please note that this part is not intended for salt water. If you're using this part in salt water, please purchase the copper nickel version of the part"

These are the details I look for, and I'll continue to think about creative improvements and ask people for feedback.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:27 PM   #18
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Oh come on, let's not start quoting darwin awards. To be clear - the post is a question about whether or not a titanium pool heat exchanger can used to cool a marine diesel.

The titanium exchanger I was looking at is interesting. I was hoping to hear positively either success or failure in its use on boats. Ridicule for contemplating a cost efficient alternative, or in my case upgrade, was the last thing I was expecting.

My Mainship has a stock domestic water that has the coolant loop running through it. If that failed it could drain my entire fresh water coolant loop due to the higher pressure in it. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Theory isn't good enough, it needs to have years of experience to dictate if it will work - with the dimensions of thermal stress, corrosion, fouling, vibration, resistance to chemicals in its vicinity. This is why I'm asking the question. Let's say several people replied saying they work brilliantly and are superior to the stock ones that came with my 1977 engine. I'd want to know. Or let's say a single person replied saying "I tried it but it failed after a season due to bad weld joints" I'd be just as delighted with either answer.

I traverse a treacherous bar regularly that has claimed lots of lives. I also worked search and rescue for five years and pulled people, dogs, and bodies out of the water. When it comes to boating I'm a safety freak. Which is why I don't like my raw water cooled exhaust manifold. Or the cast iron sleeved intercooler. Because these can corrode and fail when under it's greatest stress, like trying to maneuver around a sneaker wave like the one I videod two days ago (see San Francisco Potato Patch

The part number you quoted, from Mr. Cool says:
"Please note that this part is not intended for salt water. If you're using this part in salt water, please purchase the copper nickel version of the part"

These are the details I look for, and I'll continue to think about creative improvements and ask people for feedback.
Absolutely....looking for smart alternatives in a forum like this is what it is all about for me.

Some are here fo primarilyr entertainment, some of social needs.....me I am looking for better, cheaper ways to boat.

If I wanted a part number I would ask for it, asking whether something non-standard will work or not demands thinking outside the box....

All to often those that choose not to or can't come back with the personal attacks on the sanity of those exploring alternatives.

Thus why I started the bad boys club here...for those that refuse to conform in totality.

I have seen dozens of non standard, non manufactured variations of keel coolers which are just simplified heat exchangers. The concept is simple but the devil is in the details. If you know how much heat needs to be carried away...then you can calculate or estimate what in the way of a heat exchanger you need.

Bottom line...OEM isn't the only solution..nor are only aftermarket lookalikes.

Several here have recently or further back switched to electric pumps instead of on engine salt water pumps for their genset with good results. Out of the box solutions and no one was slinging the mud at them.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:36 PM   #19
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My Mainship has a stock domestic water that has the coolant loop running through it. If that failed it could drain my entire fresh water coolant loop due to the higher pressure in it. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link
A little thread drift....
As an FYI I used low pressure steam hose (rated at 150 psi) for my long run to the water tank on my Mainship. That was one part of the puzzle I never worried about.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:37 PM   #20
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Having gone through 17 charge air coolers in a new installation (long story for too many beers to tell) You must make sure that the air side can take the boiling of the charge air gasses, and the corrosion on the water side that will be boiling also (whatever coolant you use) is 'safe' to use for that metal While its boiling. Charge air coolers have to dissipate a boat load of heat fast. The thermal expansion and coolant get very aggressive inside the cooler.

When I cut one of my failed charge air coolers apart the panels looked like Swiss cheese. Hundred of tiny small holes all over the place. Turned out we were using the wrong coolant, which was eating up the new fangled coolers. MTU wasn't happy. Neither was the company. But we learned to use 'MTU approved' coolant after that! (Much to the Port Engineers embarrassment)

As Refugio inferred: The coolers have specific cooling capacities as far as amount of BTUs they can slough off, how much water flow (there can actually be too much flow!). And how much delta can be achieved.

I think since you are running a dinosaur Perkins you have MUCH more leeway for error. But this IS trial and error.

Can you find out what the BTU exchange capacity of the old cooler is? If the new cooler meets the same capacity then it should work. Then you have to ensure the coolant doesn't eat the cooler out also.
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