Household uses for heat exchangers
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Solar hot water - A heat exchanger is used to transfer energy to the potable water from the fluid being heated in the solar collector

A heat exchanger is a device built for efficient heat transfer from one medium to another. The media may be separated by a solid wall, so that they never mix, or they may be in direct contact [1]. They are widely used in space heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, power plants, chemical plants, petrochemical plants, petroleum refineries, natural gas processing, and sewage treatment. One common example of a heat exchanger is the radiator in a car, in which the heat source, being a hot engine-cooling fluid, water, transfers heat to air flowing through the radiator (i.e. the heat transfer medium).

Types of Heat Exchangers:

Air source heat pumps 


Concentric tube heat exchanger

Countercurrent exchange

Deep water cooling

Downhole heat exchanger

Dynamic scraped surface heat exchanger

Drain water heat recovery

Energy recovery ventilators

Grate heater

Ground source heat exchanger

Heat exchanger thruster

Heat recovery ventilators

Moving bed heat exchanger

Pillow plate

Plate fin heat exchanger



Regenerative heat exchanger

Shell and tube heat exchanger

Solar air heater

Solar hot water heater

Solar wall

Thermal wheel

Waste Heat Recovery Unit

Category tree Sample pages

Developmental Need:



Low cost

Energy Systems


External Links




Funding Opportunities for Engineers

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Education for Engineering for Sustainable Development

Tools and Software

  • The Open source engineering software page has many links to various open source software programs used in engineering.
  • Thingiverse is a website where people can share digital designs. It also provides a way to upload non-compliant files to be shared on Appropedia pages.
  • RepRap is an open source rapid prototyping system that is capable of producing its own parts and may be able to manufacture low cost heat exchangers

Heat Exchanger Development

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 Work to be Done

Stubs that need to be expanded:

There are lots of missing pages in Appropedia for heat exchangers, so feel free to pick one and share your knowledge!

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  1. Kakaç S., Liu H., (2002). Heat Exchangers: Selection, Rating and Thermal Design (2nd ed.) CRC Press. ISBN 0849309026. 311-317.