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Where are Industrial Coolants Used?

Coolant is that type of substance that is used for reducing or regulating the system’s temperature that comes in gas or liquid form. Few of the best coolants that can be used are those that are of high thermal capacity, non toxic, chemically inert, low cost, has low viscosity and neither causing or promoting corrosions to the cooling system. As a matter of fact, few applications for such need it to be good electrical insulator too.

When the term coolant is used, we often associate it to automotive as well as HVAC applications but industrial coolant is a lot different since it’s more of a technical aspect and used generally in low and high temperature manufacturing applications. At the same time, the term is used to cover cutting fluids. 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. Now say for example that the latter is put into use to achieve below ambient temperature, then it is known as refrigerant.

A common type of coolant in the market is air. There are a couple of ways to which air cooling is used and it’s through passive cooling or also known as convective airflow as well as forced circulation by making use of fans. Hydrogen is being used as well 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. Currently, many big power plants are using hydrogen cooled turbo generators in their electrical generator.

As for nuclear reactors that are gas cooled, what is used in this purpose is inert gases. The helium has low tendency of absorbing neutrons and becoming radioactive. Carbon dioxide is actually used to be mixed with AGR reactors and Magnox. Sulfur hexafluoride on the other hand is being used for cooling and insulating high voltage power systems similar to 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. The low cost and high heat capacity it has makes it ideal for heat transfer medium. 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. Betain however is made using pure plant juice but is likely similar with water coolants. Because of the low electrical conductivity of pure de-ionized water, it’s widely used for regulating the temperature on electrical equipment.

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