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The Principle of Air to Liquid Heat Exchanger
Jul 27, 2017

Commonly, heat exchangers are thought of as liquid-to-liquid devices only. But a heat exchanger is any device that transfers heat from one fluid to another. Some equipments depend on air-to-liquid heat exchangers. The most familiar example of an air-to liquid heat exchanger is a car radiator. The coolant flowing in the engine picks up heat from the engine block and carries it to the radiator. From the radiator, the hot coolant flows into the tube side of the radiator (heat exchanger). The relatively cool air flowing over the outside of the tubes picks up the heat, reducing the temperature of the coolant.

Because air is such a poor conductor of heat, the heat transfer area between the metal of the radiator and the air must be maximized. This is done by using fins on the outside of the tubes. The fins improve the efficiency of a heat exchanger and are commonly found on most liquid-to air heat exchangers and in some high efficiency liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers.