A new video is up on our YouTube Tempco channel (subtitles option available), dedicated to the kind of plates H and L in plate heat exchangers. H and L plates stands for high and low efficiency, referred to the thermal exchange rate achievable. Thermal transfer efficiency in a plate heat exchanger is indeed a result of the turbulence rate of fluids, depending upon the kind of Chevron angle in the plates corrugation design.
The Chevron angle in H plates is a dull angle, so that when overlapping the plates, rotated by 180° on each other, there will be many contact points leading to a very high thermal transfer rate. By the way, pressure drop will also increase.
That’s the reason why L plates are also available, having a more acute angle in the herringbone design of the corrugation. This goes with less contact points in the plates overlap, reduced pressure drop and also a lower efficiency in thermal exchange.
L plates are suitable for heat transfer applications using viscous fluids, not requiring very high thermal exchange rates.
H plates are suitable to obtain high thermal exchange efficiency with high pressure drop allowed, thus having pressure of a recirculation pump.
How to choose H or L plates in a heat exchanger? The selection is easily done by introducing the design values in a software to calculate a heat exchanger, values such as maximum pressure drop allowed, kind of fluids involved and their inlet/outlet temperatures. The software then determine the kind of plates, often suggesting the right mix between H and L plates in order to achieve the best compromise of heat transfer efficiency and pressure drop for the specific application.