Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Heat Exchanger Performance Testing & Research

Southwest Research Institute provides a range of testing services for heat exchanger (HX) performance validation and design improvement and optimization. The heat exchanger performance testing services include thermal performance measurement, structural integrity tests, long duration tests and testing at high pressure and temperature. In addition to conventional fluids used in heat exchangers, our facilities are capable of simulating flows of complex fluids such as gas-liquid foams, slurries, and supercritical fluids. As part of the testing process SwRI allows client to witness the testing and provides a test report with key findings, sensor calibration certificates, detailed uncertainty, and energy balance analysis.

SwRI provides both customized and standardized testing to cater to the specific needs of its clients. Our years of experience and expertise in flow loop design come in handy for expedited, modular, and cost effective construction of customized flow loops. SwRI also provides on-site test rig commissioning and testing services to the clients who wish to validate equipment performance under real operational scenarios.

Heat Exchanger Testing, Analysis & Consulting

SwRI frequently collaborates with academia and industry and act as a subcontractor or independent third-party evaluator on government projects related to the development and testing of novel heat exchangers. Specifically, our team provides services related to design review, lab-scale prototyping, scale-up analysis, and proof-of-concept demonstration.

HX Testing ServicesAnalytical and Consulting services
  • HX thermal performance testing
  • HX structural integrity and leak testing
  • Customized or standardized testing
  • Long duration testing
  • Testing in controlled environment
  • Field testing (at client’s site)
  • Thermofluidic design review
  • Component and system level analysis
  • Equipment selection and on-site installation
  • Data analysis and machine-learning based design optimization and performance prediction


Key Capabilities

FluidsFlow VariablesHeating/Cooling

Single-phase liquid (water, oil, brine, EG+water, petrochemicals)

Single-phase gas (air, nitrogen, hydrogen)

Multi-phase (foams, oil and gas, sand slurries, PCM slurries)

Supercritical fluids

Non-Newtonian fluids



Pressure: Atm up to 3000 psig

Temperature: Ambient to up to 500℉ (liquid) and >1000℉ (gas)

Flow rates:
Gas: Up to 3,500 cfm
Liquid: Up to 600 gpm (depending upon fluid type)

Viscosity: Up to 5000 cp



Liquid: 5 ton to 200 ton air-cooled chiller
(can use water or EG+Water mixture)

10 kW to 350 kW flow-through and immersion heaters

Air: 15 kW air temperature conditioner with air flow rate up to 900 cfm, temperature from -90℉ to 350℉

MW scale flow through heater with air flow rate up to 3,500 cfm, temperature from ambient to > 1000℉

Controlled environment chambers: 2x walk in chambers (size: 9’× 12’× 9’)
dry bulb range: -30℉ to 180℉
humidity range: 20 to 95 % RH

Industries Served

  • Oil and gas
  • Energy/Renewable Energy
  • Marine
  • HVAC
  • Automotive
  • Space
  • Water Treatment

Additionally, SwRI performs non-destructive evaluation of heat exchangers using Magnetostrictive Sensor-Based Guided Waves and other NDE technologies.

custom flow loop is designed for testing a 250 kW heat exchanger

This custom flow loop is designed for testing a 250 kW heat exchanger. SwRI provides customized and standardized heat exchanger testing services and is home to facilities that can simulate the flow of complex fluids, including gas-liquid foams, slurries, and supercritical fluids.

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