Being a heat exchanger designer is a little like being a cat herder. We chase BTU’s into and out of equipment in order to regulate heat in cleaning and process tanks.
A cleaner needs to be hot (180o F) – but not so hot that it leaves a soapy film. Final rinses need to be full hot (200o to 210o F) in order to dry quickly by evaporation. Type II Anodize needs to be carefully controlled (around 70o F) with a chiller to remove the excess heat generated by the oxidation process. And, hard coat anodizing has the same cooling assignment as Type II, but runs 30 degrees cooler.
A BTU is a little thing. In the American and British manufacturing worlds (BTU does stand for British Thermal Unit after all), it’s been defined since the 1870’s as the amount of heat required to heat one pound of water by one degree. In the metric world, it is the same measure, just using degrees Celsius, calories and kilograms. Imagine a small water balloon. That’s a pound of water. (See one cubic foot graphic) The wispy cloud of a cubic foot of natural gas packs 900 to 1,000 BTU’s just waiting to be put to work.
Engineers count on the First Law of Thermodynamics which says simply that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only changed in form. We count on our cousins in the boiler manufacturing business (Parker Industrial Boiler) to convert the energy of natural gas or oil into heat that can be carried by hot water or steam. Similarly, water or a refrigerant can be cooled to make a fluid that draws excess heat out of a tank. The heating or cooling medium is run through a closed system (thank you, Mr. Plumber) through RIGHTech’s heat exchangers.
Our Gridcoils, fabricated from titanium, stainless steel or zirconium, must be “right sized” – big enough to move all the BTU’s required into the tank but not so big as to waste money. The right exchanger has enough size to help all of those BTU’s travel into the tank to replace the ones that escape due to evaporation, escape into the ambient air or escape with the work being processed in the tank.
RIGHTech’s engineering and sales staffs are expert at solving heat exchange problems for electroplaters. Give us a call. We can help you herd BTU’s, too.
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