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The term heat exchanger strictly applies to all types of equipment in which heat transfer is promoted from one medium to another. A domestic radiator, where hot water gives up its heat to the ambient air, may be described as a heat exchanger. Similarly, a steam boiler where combustion gases give up their heat to water in order to achieve evaporation, may be described as a fired heat exchanger.
However, the term is often more specifically applied to shell and tube heat exchangers or plate heat exchangers, where a primary fluid such as steam is used to heat a process fluid. A shell and tube heat exchanger used to heat water for space heating (using either steam or water) is often referred to as a non-storage calorifier. (A storage calorifier, as shown in Figure 2.13.1, is constructed differently, it usually consists of a hot water storage vessel with a primary heating coil inside).
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