Heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat between hot and cold fluids. Due to the different size and type, the actual heat transfer performance is usually not the same as the design value. Meanwhile, various heat exchangers using new types of heat transfer elements have emerged, bringing the difficulty to obtain the heat transfer performance by only theoretical calculation. Therefore, studying test methods and developing test standards for heat exchangers have become the research focus in many countries. In this paper, the basic principles of various performance test methods are firstly introduced, including Wilson plot method, equal Reynolds number method and nonlinear fitting method. Then the restrictions on the use of these methods and the factors affecting the test results are analyzed. Finally, the Chinese codes and standards of performance testing for heat exchangers are listed, including JB/T 10379-2002, GB/T 27698-2011 and TSG R0010-2019. The test methods used in GB/T 27698 are described in detail. The results show that GB 27698 mainly focus on the specification of testing systems and procedures and can test heat transfer performance of almost all types of heat exchangers in industry under different heat transfer modes. However, there are lack of formulas and methods for calculating uncertainty of testing results.

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