Organized in 1933 as part of the National Recovery Act (NRA) program in the USA to bring order to the manufacturing segment of the depressed economy, HEI comprised manufacturers of steam surface condensers, waterworks-type surface condensers, and low-level jet and barometric condensers.
Until 1940, the Institute's efforts were concentrated on developing and publishing heat transfer rates for condenser tubes based on data derived from actual equipment field tests. Extreme variations in the operating conditions of various field installations proved this approach impractical.
In 1941, the Institute entered into an agreement with Lehigh University to develop calorimeter testing procedures. Information from these tests, correlated with actual field operating data, provided technically accurate data from which the Institute could develop and publish standards.
In 1966, the membership of the Feedwater Heater Manufacturers Association transferred to HEI, forming the core of Institute's Closed Feedwater Heater Section. The Steam Jet Ejector Section, later renamed the Vacuum Technology Section, was added to address steam jet ejectors and vacuum apparatus including liquid ring vacuum pumps. The Power Plant Heat Exchanger Section was originated in 1976 to meet the standards needs of this technology. Finally, a Deaerator Section was added in 1991 to update the standards pertaining to deaerators.
In 1976, the Power Plant Heat Exchange Section was originated to meet the standards needs of this technology.
In 1985, the liquid ring pump manufacturers joined the HEI, and the Steam Jet Ejector Section became the Vacuum Technology Section.
The Deaerator Section was reinstated in the HEI in 1991 and has developed standards for deaerator.
The HEI welcomes the Associate Member Section. This Section comprises Tube Manufacturers, whose products are used in heat transfer equipment and vacuum apparatus.
The HEI welcomes the Air Cooled Condenser Section. This Section comprises manufacturers of air cooled condensers, whose products are primarily utilized in power plant applications.
The HEI welcomes the Plate Heat Exchanger Section. This Section comprises manufacturers of gasketed plate heat exchangers with elastomeric gaskets and carbon steel frames used in power plants.
The HEI Power Plant Heat Exchanger Section voted to rename their section and standard to better reflect the equipment that is addressed in its standard.