Heat exchangers’ operating requirements vary depending on several parameters such as plant location, coolant input conditions and generator total output power. Some of these parameters play a more important role than others and understanding these roles is key to designing heat exchangers that will better suit their operating conditions. This paper analytically examines the implications that varying four parameters have on a heat exchanger with a fixed geometry and heat transfer area. Ambient pressure decrease translates into changes on the thermodynamic conditions of the gas flow. Coolant composition variances (from condensate to increased glycol percentages) also play an important role on the exchanger’s heat transfer rates, the higher the glycol percentage the lower the heat transfer rate. In the same manner, the coolant inlet temperature will partly determine heat transfer rates. Lastly, a generator total output power increase will yield higher heat losses on several points of the generator and thus, a higher heat load for the heat exchanger. The graphs and data hereby presented should be of assistance to those designing new coolers as well as those operating current ones.

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