Industrial Coolants and Its Uses
Coolant is a substance that comes in liquid or gas form and used in regulating or reducing temperature of the system. The ideal coolant is something that has low viscosity, low-cost, chemically inert, non toxic, has high thermal capacity and neither promotes nor cause corrosion of cooling system. Some applications need the coolant to be electrical insulator too.
While the phrase coolant is referred often to HVAC and automotive applications, industrial coolant is more of a technical as it’s found in heat transfer fluid that are frequently used in low and high temperature manufacturing applications. The term is covering cutting fluids at the same time. As for the coolants, it can actually stay on its phase, gaseous or liquid and at times, it undergoes a transition with latent heat which then adds the cooling efficiency. When the latter is used to attain below ambient temperature, it is called automatically as refrigerant.
Air is a very common form of coolant in the market. Air cooling is making use of either forced circulation by using fans or convective airflow or otherwise known as passive cooling. Hydrogen is used too for high performance gaseous coolant. Thermal conductivity is higher in comparison to other gases because it has low density and high specific heat density and for that, it’s low viscosity that is a big benefit for systems using rotary machines that are susceptible to windage losses. Hydrogen cooled turbo generators are widely used for electrical generators in big power plants at the moment.
As for nuclear reactors that are gas cooled, what is used in this purpose is inert gases. Helium basically has low tendency to absorb neutrons and for that, the odds of it becoming radioactive is less. In reality, AGR reactors and Magnox are mixed with carbon dioxide. In regards to sulfur hexafluoride however, this is utilized to insulate and even cool high voltage power systems; to give you examples, it can be switches, transformers, circuit breakers and so on. Whenever there is a need for high specific heat capacity in gaseous form, then expect that steam is what used.
A popular type of coolant used is water. It becomes ideal for heat transfer medium given the fact that it has high heat capacity plus, it is cost effective. Most of the time, technicians are combining it with additives like antifreeze as well as corrosion inhibitors. Antifreeze solution is made out of suitable organic chemicals oftentimes diethylene glycol, propylene glycol or ethylene glycol in water. A similar coolant is betain but with an exception that it’s manufactured using pure plant juice. Because of the low electrical conductivity of pure de-ionized water, it’s widely used for regulating the temperature on electrical equipment.