Plate or shell-and-tube heat exchangers can be used to exchange heat between two independent water streams. Despite providing a good return on investment, plate exchangers are not suitable for use in industrial environments with dirty water.
Shell-and-tube exchangers, however, can be used under such circumstances.
The stainless steel shell-and-tube exchangers consist of a large tube (the shell) with a bundle of smaller, stainless steel tubes inside it.
The contaminated medium (wash water, for example) is transported through the smaller stainless steel tubes, while the clean water runs through the shell.
A counterflow exchange will deliver the best return.
The ends of the heat exchanger are fitted with a detachable cover to allow proper cleaning. This way, the inside of the tubes can easily be cleaned.