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Thermal Fluid Systems: Design Considerations

By Jay Hudson, J.G. Hudson & Associates |

Thermal fluid systems that both heat and cool are often utilized in batch processes. They are also often found in continuous processes where heating is required at one point in the process and cooling (often for the purpose of heat recovery) is required in a different part of the process. Because these systems utilize the same fluid for both the heating and cooling process, they are collectively referred to as “single fluid systems.” This article discusses considerations specific to the design and operation of single fluid systems, although some of these considerations are more widely applicable. Single fluid systems can operate in an efficient and trouble-free manner or they can subject the owner to operational inefficiencies and maintenance problems, depending on whether or not certain design and operational pitfalls are avoided. These heat-transfer systems can operate over a wide range of temperatures, from as high as 400°C (750°F) to temperatures well below –40°C (–40°F). A few heat-transfer fluids can actually accommodate most of this broad temperature range. In this article, I discuss pitfalls and considerations for the very hot and very cold aspects of single fluid systems with the understanding…
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