Heat Exchangers, as we all know, are mainly used in Process plants, Pharmaceutical, Refrigeration and Storage, Air conditioning, Chemical, Petrochemical, Petroleum Refining, Power plants (Thermal, Solar and, Nuclear) etc. Every reaction, whether it is exothermic or endothermic, will need heat transfer equipment.
Currently, the heat exchanger market in the country is facing a major challenge in the form of dependency on raw material sources, especially the forgings. The dependence on low-cost forgings, especially those from countries like Korea, puts a big question mark on quality. The Koreans are even allowed to compete for heat exchanger requirement of the country. In the wake of these issues, one needs to ascertain the supplier’s track record, the life of the equipment performance in the plant and, accordingly, enlist the right suppliers for various projects for a fair competition.
Special heat exchangers for critical services
There are special exchangers for critical service. One such area is where the service is very corrosive, hazardous and dirty. Dirty service requires an expertise of maintenance-friendly design. To add to this, when we have high pressure and high temperature, the conventional design becomes obese. That’s to say no value for money. This redundant design has been replaced with the proprietary Screw-Plug also known as Breech Lock and now with the modified Screw-Plug.
The other area of concern is where the flow is viscous and pressure drop availability a big question. This is Helixchanger, that’s to say the baffles are inclined and so the flow makes it very smooth to avoid the pressure from dropping. Manufacturing these exchangers to achieve the thermal efficiency that the licensor promises is an art, as till date there are no manufacturing standards established and as such, manufacturers are at liberty to do as they please. This is a very precarious situation for the client and this seems to come in the way of preference for this product, which otherwise has a very sound thermal base.
Global heat exchanger market growth
There has been a considerable growth in the global heat exchanger market and it is expected to grow at 10 per cent per annum for the next 3 years. Globally, the demand for this growth is expected to be driven by the investments in the Clean Fuels project, LNG project and Shale Gas Processing. In India, fresh investments in the various refinery expansion projects, fertilizer projects and thermal power plants will see the surge in the demand for heat exchangers in the near future.
Today, we know that it is important to design our product keeping in mind its environmental impact. We agree that our product needs to be environment friendly. As we all know, in all those plants with dirty service, the heat-exchangers are with several gasketed joints, required for dismantling for periodic cleaning. These are the exchangers that are most difficult to design, manufacture and maintain. Hence they are built to the most rigid standards categorised as TEMA-R. However these joints, where there are bound to be fluctuations in pressure and temperature, cannot be leak proof and many a times, gases are seen oozing out. This is, in fact, a very common sight in such plants. Many a times, these gases are hazardous and any inflammable material, even a mobile phone, is kept out of bound. The environment friendly design is the need of the hour. Presently, we are working on this and will soon be ready with the design.