Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers
Whats everybody think of these things? I have 2 buildings downtown within about 3 blocks of each other, both using well water.
Building 1 has about a 16 year old Multi-Crap with 12 circuits, this thing has lost most of the SWEP condensers and a few of the evaporators over the years and currently has several bad condensers.
Building 2 has 5 Carrier AquaSnaps that are 8 years old and it has lost 2 of its SWEP condensers.
I have to believe they are both pulling the same water from the underground aquafer, tried calling SWEP and they dont want to give any information about what could possibly be in the water that is attacking these condensers. I think they are 316 stainless as opposed to 304 stainless but am not sure. Supposedly chloride can attack stainless but one customer has had several water analysis performed and can find nothing in the water.
What are you guys thoughts on these things? Are they all pretty much POS or is it just the SWEP brand. What are you using to clean these?
If you dont stand behind our troops, please feel free...........to stand in front of them.
Are these open loop or. Lowed loop systems? What type of water treatment are they using ?
It takes three people to do anything around here. Two do the work, one explains to the crowd of people who showed up when they seen smoke and flames.
Stainless 316 has good resistance to chlorine, but it does have it's limitations. I have an account that has 40+ water cooled units fed from town water, the condenser failure rate was insane. All standard coax copper condensers. I've been replacing them with the 100% stainless brazed plates from Alfa Laval, the AlfaNova series, great success thus far. The pH can be a big factor with as well.
Are these copper brazed plates? Nickel brazed is another option. More resistant to corrosion than the copper, although a higher price and a lower pressure rating I believe.
Also, look into pipe sizing, particularly on the outlet. High velocities will tear the condensers up, especially if there is any dirt in the water. This can be caused by undersizing the piping, or excessively long runs.
Again, the stainless can withstand higher velocities than the copper. We had an industrial account that was notorious for undersizing the outlet and running a couple of hundred feet to the drain.