Types of heat exchanger in air compressor

The cooler’s principle is the heat exchanger, which is the product could have two fluids exchange their heat, one fluid would get cooled while another one would get heated, so basically there are  cooler and heater in heat exchanger, considering the phase change of the fluid, there’s evaporator in heater and condenser in cooler. We only talk about the cooler here as we want it to cool the stuff.

air compressor radiator of heat exchanger

Air compressor radiator of heat exchanger


The heat exchanger can be very different from one to another. There’re many different types of heat exchangers used for air compressor, mainly there’re radiator, shell and tube heat exchanger, tube bundle, intercooler and the plate heat exchanger. All of them can be called cooler in the field of air compressor.

The radiator cool the compressed air or oil by the natural air, it is only air cooling heat exchanger here. Due to the limit of the cooling efficiency, the radiator is widely used on the low power air compressor such as the oil screw or oil free air compressor.

tube bundle of heat exchanger

Tube bundle of shell and tube heat exchanger

Shell and tube structure is the typical heat exchanger, one fluid in shell and one fluid in tubes. Normally the air compressor after cooler and oil cooler is in shell and tube structure, cooling by water. Sometimes customer would like to use the old shell and the old shell can’t be replaced and only want us to supply the internal parts, which is called tube bundle.

The air temperature is very high in centrifugal air compressor, and the water cooling cooler is the only choice, besides, the fins are needed to increase the contact area to have good cooling effect. Most inter cooler and after cooler of centrifugal air compressor are in fin and tube structure.

atlas copco oil cooler

Oil cooler of plate heat exchanger

There’s another special type of heat exchanger in air compressor field, the plate heat exchanger (PHE). PHE is very common used in many industries, but in air compressor it looks there’s only Atlas Copco oil coolers are in PHE, some models of screw air compressor use the plate heat exchanger as the oil cooler. Article of IGcooler, all rights reserved.