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Design and Development of a Plastic Film Heat Exchanger
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A plastic film heat exchanger (PFHX) utilizes the low cost and high resistance to corrosion and fouling which are offered by plastics. The PFHX consists of elements, each formed by a pair of closely spaced plastic films, with liquid flowing between the films. The fluid on the other side of the film could be liquid, gas, or a condensing vapor. The low thermal conductivity of the plastic is offset by the use of thin films so that overall heat transfer rates are achieved which are comparable to conventional units. Potential uses for such a unit are low grade heat recovery, flue gas condensing, and liquid dessicant dehumidification systems. This paper discusses the range of plastic films available and compares their individual properties with those desirable in materials to be used in a PFHX. The problems associated with the design of elements and manifolds are described together with an analysis of the thermal and hydraulic factors affecting the operation of the unit.
Guyer, E. C.; Gollin, M. K.; Brownell, D. L. (1986). Design and Development of a Plastic Film Heat Exchanger. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from