AIR COOLED HEAT EXCHANGER
Air-cooled heat exchangers are generally used where a process system generates heat which must be removed, but for which there is no local use. A good example is the radiator in your car. The engine components must be cooled to keep them from overheating due to friction and the combustion process. The water/glycol coolant mixture carries the excess heat away. The cars radiator to heat the interior may use a small amount of the excess heat. Most of the heat must be dissipated somehow. One of the simplest ways is to use the ambient air. Air-cooled heat exchangers (often simply called air-coolers) do not require any cooling water from a cooling tower. They are usually used when the outlet temperature is more than about 20 deg. F above the maximum expected ambient air temperature. They can be used with closer approach temperatures, but often become expensive compared to a combination of a cooling tower and a water-cooled exchanger.