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Gasketed plate heat exchangers


AlfaCond condensers

Condensing vapor under vacuum

AlfaCond condensers are specifically designed for condensing of vapor under vacuum. The compact design is easy to install where space is crucial.

AlfaCond is an alternative to direct condensers when condensate recovery is the goal and when there are space constraints. The AlfaCond can be configured with or without subcooling of the condensate. Non-condensables are removed from the condensate outlet pipe and led to the vacuum system. 


  • Evaporation systems
  • Ethanol condensers in bioethanol plants
  • Pan vapor condensers in sugar refineries
  • Turbine condensers in small power plants

Benefits vs. shell-and-tube

  • AlfaCond provides substantially higher thermal efficiency than shell-and-tube units, meaning much less heat transfer area is needed and cost savings
  • The compact, versatile design of AlfaCond means that that transportation, erection and installation costs are drastically reduced
  • AlfaCond’s heat transfer surfaces are easily accessible for inspection or cleaning
  • Due to low hold-up volume, AlfaCond only requires a very small amounts of cleaning chemicals compared to shell-and-tube
  • Unlike shell-and-tube units, where capacity is fixed, it’s easy to adjust AlfaCond capacity to meet changing needs by simply adding or removing plates on the existing frame
  • Compared to shell-and-tube, AlfaCond plate heat exchangers save up to 50% space (as illustrated below)

How it works

The heat transfer area of a gasketed plate-and-frame heat exchanger consists of a series of corrugated plates, assembled between the frame and pressure plates, which retain the design pressure. The sealing between the plates on the AlfaCond alternates between laser welds and gaskets.  It has a unique porthole configuration that is specifically designed for vacuum condensation. Vapor condenses in the welded channel and the cooling water passes through the gasketed channel.

The channel gap size is asymmetric with a larger gap on the vapor side and a smaller gap on the cooling water side. The result is a very low pressure drop on the vapor side and high velocity and turbulence on the cooling water side. Together, these maximize heat transfer efficiency and minimize fouling.

Features that matter

It's important to understand that all gasketed plate heat exchangers are not the same. The features highlighted below are important components to look for in a GPHE, and when combined, these features offer extensive benefits, such as reduced total cost of ownership, higher efficiency and increased staff safety.

Gasket glue

What is it?

Glue between the gasket and the metal plate safeguards high quality bonding for the toughest operating and service conditions. A two-component oven-cured epoxy glue, that can only be removed from the plates by special treatment, will keep the gasket on the plate during cleaning.

Risks with other designs

Gaskets attached to a plate with rubber glue, oven-cured or not, does not achieve a strong enough bond, which can result in gaskets falling off during cleaning, when the temperature gets critical or when aggressive fluids make the gaskets swell.

Bearing box

What is it?

A device between the tightening bolt head and the frame that reduces friction forces and makes service easier.

Risks with other designs

Opening and closing the PHE without bearing boxes is time consuming and increases the risk of paint damage, which can lead to corrosion damage.

Pressure plate roller

What is it?

The pressure plate must be easy to move and slide along the carrying bar in order to gain access to the plate pack. The most common solution is a roller on top of the carrying bar, making it easy and less time consuming to conduct service. The roller should be made out of metal to be able to carry the weight of the pressure plate.

Risks with other designs

The mechanical solution of the roller can be more or less robust. The risk is a pressure plate that is jammed and impossible to move when it is time to conduct service. 

Five point alignment

What is it?

Keeps the plates aligned during closing of the plate heat exchanger that facilitates service.

Risks with other designs

Many alignment systems do not close the vertical gap between the carrying bar and the plate, leading to wavy plate packs with leaking problems.


Servicing your heat exchangers

Plate heat exchangers have an essential role in most applications. If they function poorly, they may lead to lower product quality, reduced safety and higher energy costs. And if they fail, they can lead to costly downtime and major losses in production. This makes it important to perform maintenance – and important to do it correctly.

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