Heat Exchangers

Advancing heat exchanger technologies in HVAC

heat exchanger

Pramod Padmanabhan, Director of Sales and Operations for Hexonic Heat Exchangers India, delves into the latest HVAC heat exchanger technology advancements. He discusses innovative product lines, sustainable approaches, and strategies in line with the Make in India initiative. Additionally, he sheds light on upcoming trends propelling industry expansion.

What is your outlook for the HVAC industry in 2024, including emerging trends expected to shape its direction?

Looking ahead, the HVAC industry in 2024 shows a clear emphasis on several key aspects and emerging trends. Sustainability and energy efficiency are at the forefront, driving a shift towards eco-friendly systems and energy-efficient solutions. There is a significant trend towards enhancing Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). HVAC systems incorporate air filtration, humidification, dehumidification, and better ventilation solutions. Technological advancements continue to reshape the industry, with the integration of IoT devices, smart HVAC systems, and cloud-based monitoring gaining momentum.

Additionally, there is an increasing emphasis on environmentally friendly practices, including using eco-friendly refrigerants and encouraging the adoption of renewable energy into HVAC systems. This rising demand is wider than a specific sector; residential and commercial spaces seek HVAC options that emphasise comfort, efficiency, and cost-efficiency.

However, this growth in the industry may see new regulations and standards focusing on energy efficiency and environmental impact. This could affect the design and operation of HVAC systems, with a push towards compliance with stricter standards. Integrating HVAC systems with building management systems (BMS) will also enhance overall efficiency, control, and energy savings.

Since 1988, our mission has been to motivate individuals to conserve our planet’s resources through efficient heat exchange techniques. Our reliable heat exchangers improve system functionality, driven by our innovative strategies and the dedication of our engineers. This empowers our global customers to reduce expenses, conserve time, and contribute positively to the environment. Their satisfaction confirms the quality of our brand. We operate an independent business unit exclusively dedicated to manufacturing Industrial Heat Exchangers TEMA tailored for various industries.

What quality assessments and testing methods does your internal team employ for products?  

We perform quality assessments on our products. Our skilled internal team carries out both non-destructive and destructive testing methods. The tests include ‘penetrant inspection, eddy-current testing, visual testing, surface roughness testing, macroscopic testing, metal chemical composition analysis (PMI testing), and hardness testing (HT)’ etc.

We also commission an X-ray examination (RT), ultrasound testing, impact testing and magnetic-particle testing (MT) to leading research laboratories. The quality of our products is confirmed by certificates and approvals awarded by renowned and accredited Notified Bodies, including UDT, LLOYD’S REGISTER, TÜV NORD, DETNORSKE VERITAS (DNV), and the NATIONAL BOARD.

We ensure the quality of our products through rigorous checks. Our product excellence is validated by certificates and approvals from prestigious and accredited Notified Bodies like UDT, LLOYD’S REGISTER, TÜV NORD, DETNORSK EVERITAS (DNV), and the NATIONAL BOARD. Furthermore, we possess certifications such as ASMEU, UM, PED 2014/68/EU, CHINA ML, and ISO 9001. These certifications are a testament to additional evidence of our dedication to maintaining high-quality standards.

Furthermore, our product range includes brazed plate exchangers, plate and frame exchangers, shell and tube exchangers, shell and coil exchangers, shell and plate exchangers, industrial heat exchangers, dry coolers, and various accessories.

In 2023, implementing a new production line significantly boosted our efficiency and production capacity. Alongside this enhancement, we introduced several new products: the LC140 SP, BPHE (safe plate exchanger), and LB60X – BPHE (microchannel heating plate). Also introduced were the world’s largest brazed plate heat exchanger, LC 110 AS, BPHE (asymmetric), and pool-type heat exchangers.

How do compact and microchannel heat exchangers and advancements in nanotechnology contribute to enhancing heat transfer efficiency and sustainability?

Compact and microchannel heat exchangers use small tubes and intricate designs to speed up heat transfer, reducing the reliance on large refrigerants. This approach brings benefits like reduced material usage, a smaller physical footprint, improved efficiency, and better overall performance, supporting environmental protection and sustainability goals.

Nanotechnology, involving nanoparticles and nanofluids, enhances heat transfer rates. Surfaces and coatings made through nanotechnology enhance fluid flow and prevent fouling, a sustainable advancement in boosting heat transfer efficiency. These technologies are applied in HVAC systems, electronics cooling, and various renewable energy technologies.

Heat exchangers now utilise eco-friendly materials such as bio-based polymers and recyclable alloys to promote sustainability. Their designs emphasise recyclability, ease of disassembly and decreasing waste. This shift aligns with environmental aims and industry regulations. Alongside improved design, new materials and manufacturing techniques have enhanced heat exchanger performance while managing costs effectively.

What key technological advancements are expected to drive the future of heat exchanger technology, specifically focusing on design and sustainability?

Looking ahead, the HVAC industry anticipates several emerging trends in heat exchanger technology that emphasise design and sustainability. Heat exchangers are increasingly seen as crucial in meeting sustainability goals and transitioning towards a net-zero future. To achieve this, the HVAC sector embraces new technologies and eco-friendly practices, mainly focusing on compact designs that enhance energy efficiency across various applications.

The future of heat exchangers is expected to leverage nanotechnology and sustainable materials. These advancements boost efficiency and sustainability while reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. Moreover, the growing emphasis on indoor air quality in residential and commercial buildings is expected to advance heat exchanger technologies that improve air filtration and ventilation for healthier indoor environments.

The integration of smart technologies, like IoT sensors and controls, is foreseen as a key driver in optimising heat exchanger performance. These advancements enable real-time monitoring and adjustments, improving energy savings and sustainability.

In essence, future trends in heat exchanger technology within the HVAC industry revolve around sustainability, energy efficiency, and better indoor air quality. Innovations in compact designs, nanotechnology, sustainable materials, and smart technologies are poised to propel advancements in this technological area. It is worth noting that while these trends are projected based on available information, ongoing research and industry developments may reveal additional or more refined trends.

How do various strategies for energy savings in air conditioning systems contribute to reducing energy consumption and optimising efficiency?

Here are suggestions to save energy in air conditioning systems. The foremost is to set optimal temperature by adjusting the thermostat to a comfortable yet energy-efficient range, around 24-26°C (75-78°F) for cooling during summer. Also, employ smart thermostats to regulate temperatures based on occupancy, preventing unnecessary cooling automatically. Further, install a zoning system for customised temperature control in different areas, reducing unnecessary cooling and energy waste.

For ventilation strategy, open windows and use fans when weather permits to maintain indoor comfort without relying solely on AC. Employ natural ventilation during cooler times to lessen reliance on AC. While improving Insulation to retain indoor temperature, lessen the load on the AC system, use window coverings and ensure proper Insulation to reduce heat gain from sunlight and appliances.

Choose energy-efficient models with higher SEER ratings for better energy efficiency. Simultaneously, develop energy-saving habits and avoid unnecessary cooling during cooler periods. Moreover, ensure that the AC system undergoes routine upkeep, including filter cleaning/replacement and checking for leaks, enhancing its efficiency.

Implementing these can optimise energy efficiency, cut consumption, and reduce air conditioning costs. However, strategies may vary based on system type, building, and climate. Consulting HVAC experts or energy consultants can offer tailored advice.

What approach can effectively promote local manufacturing in the HVAC industry, aligning with the Make in India initiative?

The Make in India initiative, launched by the Indian government, aims to promote local manufacturing and boost economic growth. It focuses on attracting foreign direct investment, improving business efficiency, and encouraging domestic manufacturing across various sectors. Within the HVAC industry, there are indeed opportunities for local manufacturing aligned with the Make in India concept.

Investing in infrastructure, skill training, and research is important to capitalise on local manufacturing opportunities aligning with the Make in India initiative. A collaborative approach involving industry, government bodies, and educational institutions can create an ecosystem that supports growth and innovation. This collaboration is key to harnessing the potential of local manufacturing for job creation and community development.

Specific strategies and policies should be developed based on market dynamics, industry requirements, and a comprehensive understanding of global trends. Engaging with industry experts, stakeholders, and policymakers can help shape effective strategies for promoting local manufacturing in the HVAC sector and aligning them with the Make in India initiative.

Please talk about your exhibits at ACREX 2024.

At the Acrex Expo, our exhibits will feature a diverse range of exchangers designed for various industries like HVAC, Refrigeration, Pharmaceutical, Power, Pool, Food, and Petrochemical sectors. Our display will include ten distinct types of exchangers catering to specific applications. These include RVA and RVM (brazed plate exchangers), LUNA (stainless steel brazed plate exchangers), TI (tailored for pool usage), JFA, JFB, and JFG (plate and frame exchangers), as well as LE 400, DNA, or JAD (shell and tube exchangers).

How will participation at ACREX India 2024 contribute to your brand visibility and engagement within the HVAC&R and Building Services industries?

This event is a platform to demonstrate and launch new products, leveraging live showcases. Additionally, it allows us to understand competitor strategies, explore their offerings, and stay updated on industry trends through seminars and workshops.

Our participation at ACREX India 2024, a significant event in HVAC&R and Building Services, presents a valuable opportunity. We aim to maximise our visibility within this field, connecting with a wide audience of potential clients, partners, and industry experts. Our focus includes enhancing brand recognition through an engaging booth, interactive displays, and networking. Generating leads is a priority, and we plan to collect prospect information for post-event follow-ups, ensuring a thorough approach to nurturing these connections. Our logistical planning involves arrangements for transportation, booth setup, and on-site operations. We also emphasised cultural sensitivity to facilitate effective communication and interactions with attendees.

Ultimately, we aim to establish a robust follow-up strategy to sustain engagement and capitalise on the connections forged during the event.

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