2 Responses to “Solar Thermal Engineering vs. Conventional Mechanical Engineering”


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  1. Copper verses corrugated stainless steel verses spiralled copper heat exchanger?

    I performed a test of the effectiveness of 3/4″ copper heat exchanger and 3/4″ corrugated stainless steel heat exchangers.

    The postulate was the copper would perform better. This was not the case. The thinner wall of the corrugated, and the large surface area contributed to performance parity. These two materials were within 1% of each other regarding heat exchange capacity.

  2. Dr. Ben


    I see your confusion. You say that the SS Hx has a thinner wall and more area than the copper one. In that case, the enhanced parameters caused the SS Hx to be equal or better. You say the materials are within 1% of each other. That is not correct. What you mean is the exchangers are within 1%.

    A more accurate test would be between two identical exchangers. Same wall thickness, same area, same wall texture. Since copper is about 10X more conductive than SS, you would get a quite different answer.

    On the other hand, we could do a cost comparison, which is where the real story lies. If you can purchase an “enhanced” SS exchanger for a lower cost than a copper one with the same or better performance, then go for it. No problem there. Let’s just keep our physics straight.

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