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From the Mahans Thermal Products team.

Single Pass and Multi Pass Heat Exchangers: Which Is Right for You?

Mahan’s is committed to ensuring that each customer we work with has the best tool for what they need, and as clear an understanding of its use as possible. As we seek to set you up with the right tool for your project, you might find that we seek to combine multiple known strategies or mechanisms into one efficient and customized solution. Such could be the case as we look at single pass and multi pass heat exchangers, the former of which may be more familiar, but the latter of which might be more appropriate for your unique needs.

Back to Basics

Heat exchangers have the potential to utilize all three types of heat exchange: conduction, convection, and radiation. Most of the operations that heat exchangers tend to capitalize on, though, are based in the principles of convection: the transfer of heat within a moving fluid.

Shell and tube heat exchangers do this with two liquids: one moving through tubes toward a desired destination, and the other in a shell serving to alter the temperature of the liquid in the tubes. Well-designed systems, with optimized tube thickness and composition and free of fouling to confound heat transfer, are essential to running this system properly.

When first learning about shell and tube heat exchangers, you’ll likely recall most explanations and simple diagrams labored under the assumption that any given exchanger worked one way. Liquids passed one another once, in a finite direction. Parallel flow exchangers passed those fluids by one another in the same direction, counterflow mechanisms did so perpendicularly, and cross flow exchangers swapped out the cooling liquid for a gas.

For an overview of heat exchangers, explore our blog on the topic and their applications.

However, as projects or desired applications get more complicated, the systems we recommend or create may be required to combine techniques. One way this is done is with hybrid flow machines, incorporating more than one of the aforementioned techniques in one exchanger. With multiple techniques comes the need for a multi pass heat exchanger, one where liquids (or gases) pass through multiple times.

How Do Multi Pass Exchangers Work?

Unlike single pass exchangers, multi pass exchangers are required to lengthen the time and surface area permitted for heating or cooling processes to take place. The number of passes refers to the tube side fluid, and the number of times it will need to move through tubes to reach the desired temperature. The amount and type of surface area needed to provide adequate heat exchange, the desired end temperature of the liquids (or gases), and space available for the mechanism in question figure prominently into the method that will make the most sense for you.

Designing for a multitude of passes can occur in two ways. The first is to facilitate multiple passes with the use of U-bends directing liquid in a snakelike formation through the heat exchanger; this is the “tube-side” solution, focused largely on lengthening the tubes for longer travel (pictured below).

The second method is facilitated on the “shell-side,” through the use of additional baffles that can control the flow of liquid through tubes. For example, in a multi pass system designed for two passes, the inlet head can guide one piece of the process while a return head facilitates the second pass before exit. At any given point, only half of the installed tubes are being used. An example of how this process works is pictured below.

These processes can be designed for two, four, or even more passes, depending on materials and ultimate use of the equipment. Because they are based in a shell and tube construction, their durability and easy serviceability make for relatively easy use in even high-pressure or environmentally demanding locations. Again, the more we know as we assess a prospective solution for you and your company, the better.

What Factors Contribute to a Need for a Multi Pass Heat Exchanger?

As we at Mahan’s consider the scope of your project and needs, several factors may come into play when recommending a multi pass heat exchanger for you. In addition to the standard questions about size, cost, and desired/maximum weight, we’ll also go deeper to determine your required efficiency, type of fluids, operating temperatures, and external temperatures. This helps us determine what sort of exchange patterns may need to be combined.

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Go with the Flow: Exploring Flow Patterns in Heat Exchangers

At Mahan’s, we are committed to proving you a clear understanding of the products we provide and that you use every day. The more you know about these tools, the more efficiently you can use, monitor, and maintain them. Today’s edition will help you explore flow patterns within heat exchangers. If you have questions or want to know more about how we can best help you build or create these essential pieces for your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Why Does Knowing the Direction of Flow Matter?

In addition to making maintenance easier on the technician who will be servicing your machinery, knowing the direction of flow can simplify the selection of exchanger, while also making identification of malfunctions or inefficiencies more intuitive. While we at Mahan’s have an understanding of all these details, we believe it’s helpful if you know them as well. Brushing up on each type of flow pattern, and how it affects the process it will be a part of, is essential to its successful integration into your plant or process.

Counterflow Exchangers

Much appreciated for their efficiency, counter flow exchangers tend to be more common than their parallel or cross flow counterparts. Counterflow exchangers run the heating liquid and cooling liquid through the mechanism perpendicularly, a process that keeps the fluids at fairly constant temperatures for the duration of their “trip” through the exchanger. This lack of extreme temperature fluctuation makes this style of exchanger very efficient, and therefore desirable for many applications.

With that said, if the goal is to raise the temperature of a cool liquid, rather than the inverse (which tends to be more common), a parallel flow exchanger may make more sense.

Parallel Flow Exchangers

Both shell and tube and double pipe heat exchangers can operate in a parallel fashion, where the heating liquid and cooling liquid are both moving through the exchanger in the same direction. This type of heat exchanger is most effective when there is a stark difference in the temperature of the two fluids being used, and the goal is to bring them to similar temperatures. The nature of their design maximizes heat exchange at the start of the process, with far less of the exchange taking place later on in the process as the liquids “leave.”

The amount of exchange taking place during the process is less than it would be for the other two types of flow, thus rendering this method the least efficient compared to its overall size. However, what you lose in efficiency with this style of heat exchanger, you may gain in control; in scenarios where freezing needs to be avoided, it is easier to control liquid temperatures here, than with counter or cross-flow mechanisms.

Cross Flow Exchangers

The least utilized of the three flow styles, cross flow is most advantageous when there is a matter shift. While the mechanism and movement pattern resembles a counterflow exchanger in several ways, there is a key difference: rather than two liquids flowing perpendicularly to one another, one set of tubes holds liquid while another set holds gas or air, the latter cooling the former. The most common form of this method takes place in your car’s radiator. Hot water in tubes is cooled by air moving across those tubes in the radiator to keep the vehicle from overheating.

Commingling of Mechanisms

Although these patterns are explained in a way that suggests that you’ll get only one, the reality is that, in larger scale heat exchange operations, the exchangers you’ll buy will use multiple methods in one machine. Multi-pass machines are common culprits for this combination of strategies, with one pass using counterflow measures and the second pass using a parallel or cross flow method. By understanding each of them distinctly, you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on inside your machine, the likely culprit of malfunctions or fouling, and what sorts of maintenance or service may be possible when it is needed.

At Mahan’s, we have experts and seasoned professionals who can help you decide which sort of exchanger works best for your needs based on what sort of heat exchange you’re seeking to mitigate, and what tool best fits that need. They are highly knowledgeable about the benefits, drawbacks, and considerations that must be made for each type, and can ensure all your questions are answered. We pride ourselves on pairing the proper tool with the customer in need of assistance, and we hope to get to do the same for you. 

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Who Really Uses Heat Exchangers?

Heat exchangers are devices that take heat from one fluid or gas and use it to heat or cool another fluid or gas, without the two coming into contact with each other. They are used in everything from cars, refrigerators, and air conditioners all the way to petrochemical factories, pharmaceutical labs, and food and drink preparation facilities. While this is pretty common information, many people may wonder what sort of industries actually use this amazing technology and why.

1.  The Yanbu National Petrochemical Company in Saudi Arabia produces ethylene, ethylene glycol, polyethylene, and polypropylene products. It is one of the several plants operating under the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, which is the Middle East’s largest non-oil industrial company. Once the number-two ethylene glycol producer in the world, it became number one after being updated with new Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers, which use a combination of pure and sea water.

2.  Vojens, Denmark, is known for its famous speedway, but it is also the site of the world’s largest solar heating plant using seasonal storage, and the world’s largest underground heat storage facility. The underground storage takes place in an old sand pit filled with water between large thermal liners acting as absorption barriers and insulators. Massive heat exchangers transfer the solar energy to the plant’s water supply.

3.  The largest solar field in Europe (competing with the African field in Morocco and the American field in the Mohave Desert) is in Granada, Spain. As an example of how fast solar power is growing, the plant was the largest in the world in 2011; it is now down to number 3, but still the largest in Europe. The sun’s heat is reflected onto absorber tubes with oil. The heat exchanger transfers the heat from the tubes to drive a turbine, which produces enough power to support half a million people.

4.  The Chinese government made new laws that affected the manufacturing of air conditioners. With the expansion of the Chinese middle class and the approval of household size increases, the number of homes with air conditioners has risen dramatically. The problem became how to meet the new demands of the government  for lower energy consumption and still make a product that cooled efficiently.

The advent of new, smaller, and highly efficient heat exchangers made it possible for the Chinese compressor manufacturer GMCC to now produce 45-50 million air conditioners a year that met the government’s requirements.

5.  Steel producers in Turkey needed to reduce energy loss and increase production. They looked to heat exchangers to recover the vast amount of heat being lost from their furnaces. A special “heat resistant, austenitic chromium-nickel steel characterized by very good resistance to isothermal and cyclic oxidation” was needed to withstand the high temperatures of the furnaces. After all, the heat was being used to liquefy metal. The new heat exchangers greatly reduced energy consumption and increased productivity by 60 percent. Even better, the new materials last over 5 times longer than those of the older, less efficient heat exchanger units.

6.  Another steel manufacturer, Usiminas, in Brazil, produces over five million tons of steel a year. Their heat exchanger tubes could not stand up to the constant heat and had to constantly be replaced. By upgrading their heat exchangers to those using austenitic chromium-nickel steel grade tubes, the life span of the exchangers was multiplied exponentially, which saved millions of dollars on parts, maintenance, and downtime.

7.  When the luxury carmaker Bugatti needed to increase efficiency in their 1,500 horsepower vehicles, the Veyron and Chiron, they looked to heat exchangers. When a vehicle’s cooling systems are not working properly, then the engine cannot perform at peak performance, especially at high RPMs. The solution was updating the one main and ten smaller radiators. As with most heat exchangers, Bugatti found that it was not just the device itself, but the process that surrounded its use. As a result, they designed advanced ducting to remove the heated air after it has gone through the heat exchangers.

These are just a few of the many companies and industries that are moving forward with increased production, lower costs, and a greener footprint, thanks to myriad advances in heat exchanger technology. Whether your need is for a large, 450 ton Packinox or a small unit that fits in your hand, the secret is partnering with a company that can match a product to your specific needs. At Mahans, they have been linking customers to heat exchanger technology for half a century. From the traditional build to custom-made products, your business will never be the same.

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The Evolution of Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers in their purest sense have been around for as long as man has been cooking in pots and ovens. To understand this, remember that there are three ways that heat is transferred: convection, conduction, and radiation. The typical stew pot or clay oven exchanges heat between the heat source and the food through conduction. The double boiler and steamer further advanced the basic heat exchanger in the world of food preparation.

Early History

The first known heat exchangers for homes were simply rocks placed in a fire. The rocks would store the heat from the fire and could then be moved inside of a hut or small tent to warm the interior without fear of burning it down. The heat that was being lost from the fire was captured by the heat transfer surface, the rock, and used to heat the inside of the residence. This same method of thought led to the development of the hot water bottle.

The first “central” home heating was invented by the Romans, though there is evidence that the Indians may have been using this “hypocaust” technology up to two millennia earlier. The premise involved a basement room located under the main floor. The floor was made with cement sandwiched between layers of tiles on the top and bottom. Space was left for hot air and smoke from fires in the basement to travel through the flooring so heat could radiate up into the room. The same technology was used to heat the public baths.

International Use

Koreans used a similar technology, called Ondol heating, for the last thousand years. With the Ondol heaters, hot air and smoke would be channeled from the wood fires used for cooking into pipes run under the floors.

It would be another 1700 years or so beyond the hypocaust before the next major advancement took place in heat exchanger technology. This time, a Frenchman, Jean Simon Bonnemain, used a hot water system to help with the  incubation of chicken eggs. In the eighteen hundreds, the Marquis de Chabannes used a similar technology to heat a sort of greenhouse for growing grapes. Then the Price brothers introduced hot water and steam heating to England and patented a system for home heating in 1829. Over the next half century, hot water and steam heat exchangers would revolutionize the world.

Brazed Exchangers

Brazed heat exchangers are the smallest and most compact of heat exchangers used today. They were first introduced in the 1920s. When the exchanger’s plates are brazed together, they can be used under high pressure and can contain caustic or toxic materials safely. Because of their ability to be created in small sizes, but with efficient surface area usage, the plate heat exchangers are the most common heat exchangers used in refrigeration and HVAC systems.

Heat Exchangers Today

Today, heat exchangers have been developed in forms so small they can fit in the palm of your hand, and so large they require cranes and jumbo aircraft to move them. For example, the largest plate and frame heat exchanger in the world stands 81 feet tall and weighs over 450 tons (900,000 pounds). Heat exchangers are used in everything, from our laptops and refrigerators to petrochemical refineries and food, drink, and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The capture and re-allocation of once-lost heat energy saves billions of dollars in expenses every year and makes processes requiring high pressure feasible.

Heat exchangers now come in many varieties, each meeting a specific need in the market. From the shell and tube to the plate and shell, the plate and fin to the adiabatic wheel, and the pillow plate to regenerative models, there are almost as many heat exchanger designs as there are varying needs. Heat exchangers can also be categorized by the number of fluids run through the exchanger, the types of materials used (gas to liquid, liquid to liquid, liquid to phase change), or even by the flow.

The Future of Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers have come a long way from the boiling pot and brick oven, but where will they take us in the years to come? Soon, entire cities will have access to fully renewable power. Consider the massive solar fields in Morocco, the Mohave Desert, and Vojens, Denmark. These three solar fields alone produce enough energy to support several million people. With the advances in underground storage technology being perfected at Vojens, the sun’s power may soon be harnessed and stored without batteries, within the earth.

While some energy sources come from outside (the sun), others come from within the earth itself. Heat exchangers are taking advantage of geothermal heat sources to power entire hotels in New Zealand, and entire communities, such as Fort Polk, Louisiana.

If you are interested in joining the millions who are already saving money, reducing carbon emissions, and increasing production efficiency, then the addition or upgrade of heat exchanger technology may be right for you.

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How Heat Exchangers Are Making the World a Better Place

Heat exchanger technology has been around for as long as man has cooked his food. Of course, humans did not fully recognize the concept until the Romans started to heat their floors with underground ovens. Yet, major advances were not made in heat exchanger concepts until the advent of the home radiator.

Currently, heat exchangers are in everything, from our automobiles to our phones, and from our refrigerators to space launches. Within the industrial sector, heat exchangers save billions of dollars each year on lost energy in everything from food production to pharmaceuticals, and from beer distilleries to petrochemical refining. Heat exchangers are a critical part of our lives.

Heat exchangers may exist in every corner of our environment, but most people do not realize the extent of the impact they have had on the world. Let’s take a brief look at some of the advances and improvements that have taken place as a result of heat exchanger technology.

Chemical Compression and Cooling

Many of the advances in the chemical industry would not be possible without the use of heat exchangers. Gases such as oxygen and nitrogen are commonly compressed to high pressures during production processes. Without a way to release the heat generated during compression, there would be serious, even fatal, problems.

Today, heat exchangers not only remove the excess heat generated during each compression step, but gas recoolers capture oxygen, nitrogen, and the noble gases of group 18 on the periodic table (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, radon, and ununoctium), which has led to further advances and opportunities. 

Exhaust Recycling

The production of many common goods, such as fertilizer, plastic bottles, and paper, require the generation of steam. Many times this steam carries chemicals that are not healthy to pump into the environment.

Heat exchangers are able to capture the lost heat from the steam, increase the energy efficiency of the plant, and cool the vapors to return them to a liquid form where they can be more effectively treated. Many times, a heat exchanger can also be used to separate valuable substances (known as separation technology) to be used in the manufacturing process or to simply protect the environment.


Modern-day heat exchangers make it possible to use caustic, toxic, and dangerous chemicals without fear that they will be mixed in with the heating or cooling source. There is no longer a need for huge cauldrons of noxious chemicals and poison fumes because heat exchangers allow the product to be kept separate and safe. Since heat can now be added, removed, or even channeled from one process to an entirely different process safely, everybody wins.

Heating and Cooling of Buildings

Individual fireplaces are nice, but they come with their share of challenges and dangers. In many areas, such as large cities, they are no longer conducive to safe heating. This goes for residential and commercial buildings. Thanks to the advent of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, comfortable environments can be provided safely and efficiently. From individual air-conditioning units to central heating and air conditioning, heat exchangers have revolutionized our lives and added a significant degree of comfort.


Have you ever wondered how temperatures are regulated in large stadiums? What about their hot and cold water supplies, air conditioned walkways, and so forth? It’s all thanks to massive heat exchange units. In fact, the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field (home of the Mets) were both recently opened (2009). One of the main concerns in the new designs were heat exchangers. The owners needed to know that the devices would keep the employees and fans comfortable without breaking the bank. Heat exchangers provide the link between low energy consumption and the high efficiency that is needed to heat and cool such massive structures affordably.


Hotels have the same concerns as ballparks. How do you heat and cool massive spaces and still afford to stay in business? The YHA Rotorua hostel in New Zealand installed a geothermal down-bore heat exchanger to meet its needs. The $42,000 project will save the hostel nearly $7,000 a year. Even better, it dramatically slashed the hostel’s carbon emissions, which is great news for the environment. Where will the savings go once they have paid off the investment? The plan is to have them fund a similar project for their sister facility, the YHA Auckland International hostel.


Even automobiles use heat exchangers. After all, that is the purpose of your radiator. When Bugatti built its $2.5 million Chiron, they had a problem. The luxury car produced 1,478 horsepower and could reach speeds up to 261 mph even though it weighed two and a quarter tons. The problem: the heat produced by the car at high speeds was overwhelming, and standard heat exchangers were not doing the trick.

Many high-performance luxury cars use more than one radiator to cool the engine and other parts such as the differentials. Bugatti went even further. Their solution: not one, not five, but 10 radiators (like their other supercar, the Veyron). The difference is that the Chiron also has updated ducting to transfer the heat out of and past the car once it has been through the heat exchangers. The advanced ducting reduces the cooling drag and improves the overall performance of the car.

Heat exchangers have made an impact on nearly every area of our lives. While you may not drive a Bugatti or own a hotel, the technology that is developed for high-end cars and large industries eventually makes it down to the cars and houses that most of us can relate to. We may not think about heat exchangers much, but, if they weren’t there, we would notice mighty quickly.

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7 Great Articles About Heat Exchangers

There are a number of great articles written about heat exchangers, but who has the time to read them all? In fact, who has the time to do the research trying to find them even if you wanted to read them? You’re in luck. The research has been done, the best articles have been found, and a brief synopsis has been provided to whet your appetite for the full course. Without further ado, here are seven great articles about heat exchangers:

1.  Fundamentals of Solar Heat Exchangers.

This article by Home Power discusses liquid to liquid heat exchangers in the context of solar heat. Initially, the article addresses the differences in the design concepts of material conductivity, surface area, physical configuration, and bonding in relation to system design factors such as the temperature differences between fluids, the flow rate, and fluid types. It ends by discussing the differences between internal and external solar heat exchangers.    (Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

2.  Design Advances Extend the Scope of Heat Exchangers into New Areas.

Engineer Live provides a look into the advances in heat exchanger design and the impact of these changes. From innovations at Alfa Laval, Coperion Waeschle, and Niro, the article provides an overview of important advances in a few of each companies’ offerings that are sure to shake up the industry. It’s hard to know what to use if you don’t know what is out there. When just a small temperature adjustment can result in millions of dollars in savings, it pays to stay current.

3.  How to Repair the Common Problems of Heat Exchanger Fouling and Corrosion.

Mahans Thermal Products is an expert in the heat exchanger industry. This article from Mahans addresses the most common problems and types of fouling, monitoring a heat exchanger for fouling, and the stages of this disruptive and damaging problem. It also discusses the various processes of cleaning a heat exchanger that has been fouled through steam blasting, hydro-blasting, and chemical cleaning.

4.  General Correlations among Geometry, Orientation and Thermal Performance of Natural Convective Micro-Finned Heat Sinks.

Science Direct is a great place to get information on heat exchangers. This particular article addresses the effect of fin geometries on thermal performance and the differences between upwards and downwards heat sinks in regards to their thermal behaviors. The article takes a particularly close look at the use of micro-fins and the way they affect heat sinks. Prior to jumping into the details of the study, nomenclature is clearly laid out. The article then gives the premise for the use of micro fins and the constructs of the experiments to be conducted, including schematics and graphs. The article then reviews the findings of the experiment’s data and gives their conclusions, along with a full bibliography.

5.  Compact Heat Exchangers: A Review and Future Applications for a New Generation of High Temperature Solar Receivers.

This paper is provided by Research Gate. It reviews the performance of compact heat exchangers. Per the paper’s abstract, “The structures of the compact heat exchangers are briefly introduced, and their heat transfer enhancement mechanisms, as well as their advantages and limitations, are summarized.” After a review of the structures, their thermo-hydraulic performances are tested and reviewed, along with enhancements to heat transfer technologies. A brief look at research being conducted in concentrated solar power is also provided.

6.  Experimental Analysis of Steam Condensation in Vertical Tube with Small Diameter.

This is a fascinating write-up from Science Direct regarding the measurement of steam condensation in a vertical copper tube with a set length and thickness when the inlet temperatures and mass flow rates are variable and the steam is a product of water. Prior to the experiments, nomenclature is reviewed. A brief review of prior experiments is provided, along with their importance. The setup of this experiment is explained, and the data recorded. The authors then compare their results to those of prior studies, along with a full bibliography.

7.  Zero Fouling, Self-Cleaning Heat Exchanger.

This is a paper presented at the ECI Conference in Kloster Irsee, Germany in 2005. It is fascinating to look at the state-of-the-art technology from a decade ago and realize how far we still have to go. The paper addresses the standard problem of fouling in shell-and-tube heat exchangers, and the concept of a “zero fouling” tube. An analysis is given of several self-cleaning heat exchangers, and a suggestion for a zero-fouling design is presented, along with experimental findings and advantages.

When it comes to understanding what is in the market, in the pipeline, and in the experimentation stages, you have to stay on top of your reading and research. This list of articles will give you a good place to start. It’s great to know that even if you don’t have the time to do all of the reading you’d like, the experts at Mahans have kept up with it for you and can provide you with the correct technology, components, cleaning, and repair to best meet your specific needs.

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6 Amazing Songs About Heat Exchangers

There are only a couple of songs written about heat exchangers (yes, there really was at least one – see number 3), but what if, based on the songs’ titles, the others actually were, too? Let’s take a fun look at some “heat exchanger songs” that may be completely cringe-worthy, but still stand up to truth and science.

1.  “Bigger Isn’t Always Better” – Barnum Soundtrack

“Bigger isn’t always better … larger isn’t bolder …  narrow’s just as good as wide.”

While the sentiment is true, there is still a time and a place for “bigger.” Consider the 81-foot tall, 450 ton Packinox from Alfa Laval. They didn’t build this massive device to set a world record; they built it because the petrochemical industry needed it. As for the gap, when dealing with heat recovery and cooling of highly viscous fluids or medium with coarse particles or fibers, a wide gap is better than a narrow one. Not only do narrow tubes increase pressure, but they could dangerously restrict the flow of these sorts of fluids.

Sorry, Barnum. Sometimes, bigger is better, and narrow simply falls short of wide. 

2.  “Some Like It Hot” –  The Power Station

“Some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on
Some feel the heat and decide that they can’t go on
Some like it hot, but you can’t tell how hot ’til you try
Some like it hot, so let’s turn up the heat ’til we fry”

While these are certainly inspiring and romantic words, in the world of heat exchangers, the lyrics come up wanting. In fact, experimentation is not something you want to do outside of the lab, and you do not want to see how hot you can get. One of the beautiful things about heat exchangers is that heat can be generated accurately and consistently.  When you consider the heat differentials for producing pharmaceuticals, pasteurizing drinks, brewing beer, and so forth, there is no room for error. One of the greatest advantages of a heat exchanger is that even when you turn up the heat you won’t fry. The excess heat will be effectively and efficiently drawn off and repurposed.

Sorry, Power Station. It looks like you are the only one who will be feeling the heat and not going on.

3.  “Steam Heat” – Patti Page

“I got (clang, clang) s-s-s-steam heat, but I can’t get warm without your hand to hold

The radiator’s hissin’, still I need your kissin …

To keep me from freezin’ each night, they told me to shovel more coal in the boiler,

But that don’t do no good

They told me to pour some more oil in the burner, but that don’t do no good …

I got (clang, clang) s-s-s-steam heat …”

Steam heat wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be (hidden cracked radiator pun intentional). Thankfully, today’s home heat exchangers are much more efficient. From radiant floor heating, baseboard water heat, or more advanced HVAC systems, there isn’t any coal or oil to shovel or pour. You may need to keep a fuel tank supplied if you are running your own boiler, but you probably won’t be adding the oil yourself. While the efficiency of modern home heat exchangers would keep Patti warm, if she is looking for an excuse to be holdin’ and kissin’, she might just turn things down on purpose.

Sorry, Patti. We don’t think this is as much of a problem with a heat exchanger as it is living in a time gone by.

4.  “The Heat Is On” –  Glenn Frey

“The pressure’s high, just to stay alive
‘Cause the heat is on

The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on
Oh it’s on the street, the heat is on”

Increased pressure does lead to increased heat. Typically, a heat exchanger takes the extra heat derived from the increased pressure and reallocates it, thus saving energy and expense. For example, air is compressed to separate its components. There are many useful gases in the air we breathe (oxygen, nitrogen, argon, neon, krypton, xenon, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, etc.), but we need to separate them  if we want to use them as individual gases.

The separation and fractional distillation processes involve placing air under ever-increasing pressure. This pressure creates ever-increasing heat. In order to keep the heat from ruining the process, it is bled off and reallocated through the use of heat exchangers. Heat exchangers are also used to cool the gases and bring them back to a usable state.

Sorry, Mr. Frey. While your premise is correct, and pressure does lead to heat, the increasing heat is not what we want just to stay alive. In fact, if we don’t lower the heat, we won’t stay alive. Good thing you write songs and not chemical process manuals.

5.  “Rumble of the Diesel” –  Les Claypool

“I like the rumble of the diesel and the smell of the oil
I percolate my coffee off the radiator boil
I been chasin’ tuna nearly 27 years
I got the eyeballs of an eagle, but there’s ringing in my ears”

The radiator is a perfect example of a heat exchanger. Using the heat from the radiator to percolate coffee is simply beautiful. While Mr. Claypool didn’t mention it, we bet he also used that cup of coffee to warm his hands if he was out fishing for tuna early in the morning. That heat exchange would win him the heat exchanger trifecta. The radiator drawing the heat from the engine, the percolator drawing the heat from the radiator, and the cold hands drawing the heat from the coffee cup. It’s pure heat exchanger poetry. It’s also the very reason you should have heat exchangers capturing the lost heat in your business. Just think of the savings and increases in productivity.

Well done, Mr. Claypool. Your music may not be about heat exchangers, but it still wins the prize.

6.  “Taxman” – The Beatles

“Let me tell you how it will be

There’s one for you, nineteen for me
Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman. Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman … if you get too cold I’ll tax the heat …”

While most of us wouldn’t put it past the ol’ taxman to try, and we sure can understand the Beatles’ sentiment, heat exchangers are one of the most effective ways to beat the taxman.

By conserving fuel, you pay less in sales tax. By saving money on your production costs, you are able to set aside profits for contributions to charity and other tax shelters without damaging your bottom line. By going green, you are able to take advantage of tax breaks that more than offset the cost of  installing the heat exchangers in the first place.

Sorry, Beatles. The taxman may have told you how it will be, but for American companies who take advantage of modern heat exchanger technology, the heat isn’t going to be taxed; it’s going to be the source of tax freedom.

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Why Every Industrial Business Should Have the Right Thermal Professional on Speed Dial

When you’re the head of a company that relies on one or more industrial heat exchangers in order to do business, it’s important to make sure they stay in excellent working order. If your heat exchanger isn’t performing as well as it could be, you may be losing a small fortune in wasted energy and reduced performance each and every day.

Part of astutely running a company that relies on heat transfer equipment is having the right professionals already in your corner when it comes to keeping things running smoothly. Here we’ll take a closer look at why you really can’t afford not to.

  1. You guarantee that you’re using the best, most efficient equipment for the job.

Choosing a heat exchanger for use with new or existing industrial equipment isn’t like choosing a new toaster oven or even a new car. There are many multiple variables involved in the selection process, so it’s a challenge the average layman isn’t prepared to take on by himself. While it’s technically possible to make a good choice using hand calculations, it’s a much smarter choice to rely on professionals that are used to choosing and designing heat transfer systems, as well as helping business owners and factory managers make the best possible decisions.

Professional heat exchanger engineers and vendors help you make your choice by considering design limitations, current budget, and performance requirements before settling on a given recommendation. They’ll also consider factors such as the following:

  • Thermal performance
  • Fluid flow capacity
  • Ease of future expansion
  • Materials required
  • Temperature ranges
  • Product mix
  • Pressure limits

Choosing your heat exchanger vendors and professionals with care can take the guesswork completely out of the equation for you, guaranteeing you considerably more efficient equipment than you’re likely to select on your own.

  1. You’ll have continuing access to important cleaning and maintenance services.

You wouldn’t even consider not taking your automobile in for regular tune-ups and maintenance, would you? That would mean taking the risk of your car no longer working the way that you need it to or dying at the worst possible time. The same principle holds true for your heat exchangers.

Even the most expensive, efficient heat exchangers accumulate sediment, dust, and residue over time, which can eventually affect the way they perform. Corroded gaskets, fouling, pressure loss, and blockages can (and most likely will) also occur eventually. You need a qualified heat exchanger maintenance professional to evaluate, test, and clean your heat exchangers according to a regular schedule to ensure that they stay in tip-top condition. Be proactive! Don’t wait until something goes wrong. You could be facing weeks of expensive (and easily preventable) downtime if you do.

  1. You’ll gain valuable access to industry experts.

When you take the time to select a professional that has been an industry expert for years, you’re also making the decision to place your company’s livelihood in good hands and keep it there. Experienced vendors and repair professionals with decades of experience have a thorough understanding of more different types of heat exchange equipment than the new guys on the block will have. They’ll be qualified to clean or repair just about any option out there, as well.

Most importantly of all, you’ll enjoy reliable ongoing access to professionals that can answer any questions you may have about your heat transfer system at any point down the line. They’ll be able to help you choose a new one when and if it’s ever needed. They’ll have access to cleaning, maintenance techniques, and equipment that are all positively top of the line.

Experience the Mahans Difference

The heat transfer professionals behind Mahan’s Thermal Products have been in the heat exchanger business for more than 45 years, and it absolutely shows. Not only can Mahan’s help you select a new heat exchanger or successfully update an existing one, but we can return any heat exchanger back to “good as new” condition – any brand, any model, from sleek custom-built units to classic shell and tube designs.

Our range of cleaning options are second to none, including de-greasing, chemical de-scaling, mechanical cleaning, and even high pressure jetting. We also encourage and perform high caliber proactive maintenance. We monitor your equipment. We search meticulously for potential problems and take care of them before they wind up costing you money. If something does go wrong, we fix it for you promptly so that you can get your business up and running again as soon as possible. Let us take care of your heat exchangers today!

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What Do You Need to Consider When Evaluating Your Next Heat Exchanger?

A heat exchanger tends to be the sort of thing that you don’t think about in detail until you’re forced to. Maybe the heat exchanger your industrial facility relies on hasn’t been functioning as well as it has in the past. It could be cracked or damaged. It may be in need of some cleaning or basic maintenance work, but, sooner or later, it may need to be replaced altogether.

Do you know how to make a wise decision in regards to your next heat exchanger purchase? Do you have a full understanding of what your options are? Most importantly of all, do you know which vendor or heat exchanger professional you’ll be purchasing from? Here we’ll take a closer look at some key things to consider in order to ensure that you’re happy with your purchase for many years to come.

Important Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Heat Exchanger

Choosing the right heat exchanger for your equipment or facility is about more than simply selecting one that’s as much like the last one as possible. You want to be sure you’re making an informed decision that will be as good a fit for your needs as possible.

Application: Not all heat exchangers are created equally when it comes to how they need to perform in order to get the job done. How does yours need to function in order to carry out your facility’s processes – boiling, condensing, or sensible liquid/vapor?

Utility Access: Not all heat exchangers require the same basic utilities in order to carry out their functions. Does the model you’re considering need a connection to hot oil, steam, or cooling water in order to function properly? Is your current or future facility capable of providing that?

Construction Material: How will the heat exchanger you’re considering stand up to any possible temperature changes it will be exposed to when in use? Make sure the materials it’s made of are appropriate.

Available Space: You’d be surprised how many people think to consider other specifications when selecting a heat exchanger only to overlook something as simple as space dimensions. Make sure you thoroughly evaluate your floor plan to make sure it can fully accommodate a given model before finalizing your selection.

Ongoing Maintenance: Once you’ve determined that your new heat exchanger fits your available space, you’ll also need to consider whether or not you’ll be capable of carrying out the type of cleaning and maintenance procedures required. Proper, timely maintenance is absolutely key when it comes to heat exchangers.

Energy Efficiency: When you’re running a major operation, prioritizing maximum energy efficiency isn’t just a good idea. It can make a massive difference in your facility’s overall energy costs, as well as the health of your bottom line. That said, it should be a major concern when selecting a new heat exchanger.

Budget: While it goes without saying that a heat exchanger is going represent an investment, it’s still a good idea to have a clear idea in mind as to how much you’re able (and willing) to spend as far as the options available to you. Choose your make, model, and vendor with care. Make sure you comparison shop to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.

Each time you find yourself in the market for a new heat exchanger, it’s of the utmost importance that you carefully and thoroughly reevaluate all of the options available to you. This is just as much the case if replacing one to use with an existing process, as it is when putting together a new system altogether. Heat transfer technology is always changing, and new options are constantly being made available.

Other Points to Consider Before You Buy

Don’t simply assume that you’re required to choose only from the selection of available heat exchangers on the market. Many facilities and processes can benefit greatly from a custom-built solution. When you choose to trust a top heat exchanger vendor like Mahan’s Thermal with your needs, you’re not just gaining instant access to a wide range of today’s most popular, efficient options. You also gain the opportunity to have a top-notch exchanger built from the ground up with your facility’s unique needs in mind.

The Mahan’s team can also help you with repair work of all kinds, as well as regularly scheduled cleaning and maintenance of any make or model heat exchanger. Remember, when it comes to keeping your facility running according to the highest standards, it’s not enough just to choose the right heat exchanger for the job in the first place. Maintenance and cleaning are important parts of making sure it continues functioning just as well for many years to come.

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Not All Heat Exchanger Repair Professionals Are Created Equally

Having your facility’s heat exchanger break down can be a lot like having your car break down. Not only does such an occurrence cause a multitude of problems and inconveniences, but there’s seemingly never a convenient time for it to happen. It’s never not a complete pain, so it’s only understandable that you’d want to get things taken care of as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Even so, just as you wouldn’t want an unqualified service technician working on your car, you don’t want one working on your heat exchanger, either. Instead of dialing the first company you see when you open the Yellow Pages, it’s important that you take the time to select a qualified expert instead. Heat exchanger service professionals aren’t all the same. Don’t let a hasty, misinformed choice cause you even more problems down the line.

Experience and Expertise Matter

Heat exchangers are complex, highly specialized systems that should only be trusted to experienced professionals. Choose someone that isn’t experienced or knowledgeable enough, and you risk the job not being done properly. You could wind up facing the same issue again sooner rather than later. If the technician isn’t fully familiar with your exact make and model, he could even wind up causing a few new problems, to boot.

Choose a professional service provider with decades of experience, as well as a stellar reputation for doing excellent work. You’ll wind up solving your problem instead of potentially making things worse. Plus, a more experienced technician can make informed recommendations as to how you can increase your system’s efficiency and prevent performance problems in the future.

Protect Yourself and Your Facility

Your heat transfer system represents an important part of your facility’s proper function, so it’s imperative that you keep it protected at all times. Make sure that the heat exchanger repair professional you’re trusting your livelihood to is fully insured, bonded, and certified. This way, if a mistake is made, you and your company are protected.

You’ll also want to make sure that the company in question makes it a point to guarantee their customers’ satisfaction with work done. Are they willing to return and reassess the work done if the problem isn’t solved or recurs within a certain amount of time? Is each technician fully certified and insured in all the ways they should be? Is the company familiar with your exact type of heat exchanger? Have they successfully completed similar jobs before?

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel comfortable with the choice you’re making. A solid professional you can really trust will welcome the chance to put your mind at ease and talk up their company’s ability to exceed even the highest standards.

Choose Someone You Can Work with in the Future

When you’re in need of emergency heat exchanger repair services, you’re naturally going to be thinking mostly about this one particular job. However, it’s still a good idea to consider whether or not the company you’re hiring is one you’d be comfortable relying on again in the future.

Heat exchangers are complex systems that should be maintained, evaluated, cleaned, and serviced on a regular basis. The right experts can help you maximize the way yours functions in ways you may not have considered before, by offering ongoing maintenance services and easy access to replacement parts and diagnostic information. They’ll not only be able to fix the problem you’re facing right now, but help you maintain and improve upon the work done into the future. You’ll also have established a relationship with a company you really trust, so you’ll be able to rest easy in the knowledge that you know who to call next time.

Full-Service Professionals You Can Trust

The heat exchanger professionals of Mahan’s Thermal Products are so much more than just experienced, knowledgeable technicians capable of fixing any issue your system may be having. Mahan’s is also a leading supplier of replacement parts, full heat transfer systems, and even custom engineered options designed with your unique facility in mind. Ongoing maintenance, cleaning, diagnostics, and emergency services are also available.

When you make the decision to trust your heat transfer system to Mahan’s, you’re not just gaining an immediate solution to your system’s issues. You’re establishing a relationship with a valuable business partner you can trust your facility to for many years to come. Experience the difference for yourself today!

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