It is a whole new world, but you are figuring it out.
When you graduated from college with an accounting degree, you never dreamed that you would be keeping books and doing payroll for a company that sold and serviced air cooled heat exchangers and tank coil heaters. And while the accounting and payroll part of the job is very familiar, you finally had to ask the owner if he could give you a crash course in what the difference was between steam condensers and plate and frame heat exchangers. When you were paying the bill for large the largest of orders, you explained, you simply had to know a little bit about the lists of items that were both purchased and sold by this company. Otherwise, you insisted, you felt like you could not get a grasp of what your job was really about.
For instance, did this several thousand dollar invoice to a customer represent many large crates of big pieces of machinery, or did it include many small pieces that could all fit in one box. It was not that you needed to know everything about the company, but you were certain that you could be more efficient, and spot potential billing and payment errors if you understood the basics of of a company that sold cooling and heat transfer parts.
Here is brief summary of what you learned:
There are three basic kinds of heat exchangers. The first, a parallel-flow or counterflow configuration heat exchanger, achieves its cooling process with a system whereby both the tube side fluid and the shell side fluid flow in same direction. In the case of a parallel-flow or counterflow configuration the two fluids enter the heat exchanger from the same end with a large temperature difference. A second kind, a cross-flow configuration, achieves heat transferred through both convection and conduction with the use of several, sometimes as many as 20, coils that are open and rest on a flat surface. A third kind, shell-and-tube configuration heat exchanger, is often used in refineries and other large chemical processes, is encased in a round shell and consists of many long, flanged tubes.
In all cases, these heat exchangers are serve the same process. They perform the cooling process and keep large systems operating efficiently and not over heating. Basically, heat exchangers are used to transfer heat between two or more fluids. Flowing between a solid surface and a fluid, or sometimes between solid particulates and a fluid, these chemicals of fluids of different temperatures are in thermal contact until they are cooled to an acceptable level.