Working Principle of Heat Exchanger

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Heat Exchanger or often we call a Heat Exchanger is a device that serves to transfer heat energy between two or more fluids and occurs at different temperatures between the fluids, where some fluids act as hot fluids and others act as fluids. cold (cold fluid).

Heat Exchanger can be used as a heater (regenerator) or as a cooler (recuperator) depending on the review of heat transfer that occurs. In everyday life we ​​will not miss this tool either on a small scale, such as: AC (Air Conditioner) or large scale, such as: Powerplant. The types of heat exchangers are very varied and can be classified based on several reviews, among others:

  • Transfer Process
  • Amount of Working Fluid
  • Construction Design
  • Heat Transfer Contact Area
  • Fluid Flow Direction

For a more detailed explanation of the types of Heat Exchangers based on the above review, let’s see the following explanation.


Based on the transfer process, heat exchangers can be divided into two, namely: direct contact and indirect contact. Direct contact heat exchanger is a heat exchanger where heat transfer between hot fluid and cold fluid occurs directly in contact or without any barrier. On the other hand, for the indirect heat exchanger, the heat transfer between the two fluids is limited by a boundary wall.


Based on the number of working fluids, heat exchangers can be divided into two fluids, three fluids and N-fluids (N>3). According to the review, what is being reviewed is the amount of working fluid only, but it must be in accordance with the basic concept of a heat exchanger, i.e. there must be one that acts as a hot fluid and a cold fluid and for the amount according to the design. In general, there are two working fluids in a heat exchanger for heating, cooling, adding heat and absorbing heat. For the use of a working fluid that is more than two fluids, it is usually applied to industries that use chemical processes such as the process of removing nitrogen content from natural gas raw materials.


Judging from the fluid flow that flows in the heat exchanger, heat exchangers can be grouped into single pass and multi pass heat exchangers. A heat exchanger can be called a single pass heat exchanger when an exact fluid flows only once in the heat exchanger. Meanwhile, it is said to be multi-pass if the fluid flows more than once in a heat exchanger. For single pass heat exchangers, there are two types of flow directions, namely counter flow and parallel flow.

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