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HeatExchangerTypesandSelection

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Inordertoachieveoptimumprocessoperations,itisessentialtousetherighttypeofprocessequipment
inanygivenprocess.Heatexchangers,commonlyusedtotransferenergyfromonefluidtoanother,are
noexception.

Theselectionofthepropertypeofheatexchangersisofcriticalimportance.Selectingthewrongtype
canleadtosuboptimumplantperformance,operabilityissuesandequipmentfailure.

Thefollowingcriteriacanhelpinselectingthetypeofheatexchangerbestsuitedforagivenprocess:
Application(i.e.sensiblevapororliquid,condensingorboiling)
Operatingpressures&temperatures(includingstartup,shutdown,normal&processupset
conditions)
Foulingcharacteristicsofthefluids(i.e.tendencytofoulduetotemperature,suspendedsolids...)
Availableutilities(coolingtowerwater,oncethroughcoolingwater,chilledwater,steam,hotoil...)
Temperaturedrivingforce(i.e.temperatureofapproachorcrossandavailableLMTD)
Plotplan&layoutconstraints
Accessibilityforcleaningandmaintenance
Considerationsforfutureexpansions
Mechanicalconsiderationssuchas:1)materialofconstruction2)thermalstresses(during
startup,shutdownprocessupsetandcleanoutconditions)3)impingementprotection
Shellandtubeheatexchangersaccountsformorethan50%ofallheatexchangersinstalled.However,
inmanycases,therearemoreattractivealternativesintermsofcostandenergyrecovery.Anytimea
heatexchangerisbeingreplaced,theopportunityshouldbetakentoreassessifthetypeusedisbestfor
thegivenprocess.Operatingchangessinceinitialinstallationaswellasadvancementsinthefieldofheat
transfermaypointtowardsadifferenttypeasbeingoptimal.
HeatExchangersTypes

Shell&tubeheatexchangers
Baffletypes
Segmentalbaffles
Doublesegmentalbaffles
Notubeinwindow(NTIW)baffles
Rodbaffles
EMbaffles
Helicalbaffles
TubeEnhancements
Twistedtubes
Lowfinnedtubes
Tubesinserts(twistedtapes,CalGavin)

Compacttypeheatexchangers
Plate&frameheatexchangers(gasketed,semiwelded,welded)
Spiral
Blazedplate&frame
Platefinheatexchanger
Printedcircuits

Aircooledheatexchangers

HeatExchangersSelection

Pastexperience,isalwaysthebestplacetostarttoguidetheselectionofheatexchangertypes.
Understandingthereasonsbehindbothsuccessesandfailureswillleadtobetterequipmentselection.

Whencomparingdifferenttypesofheattransferequipment,onemusttakeintoconsiderationthetotal
costoftheequipmentwhichincludes:

1.purchasecost
2.installationcost
3.operatingcost(pumping,fan)
4.maintenancecost
Inordertomakethebestselection,itisimportanttohavesomeknowledgeofthedifferenttypesofheat
exchangersandhowtheyoperate.Thetablesbelowoffertheadvantagesanddisadvantagesof
commontypesofheatexchangers.Theycanbeusedtoarriveatatypethatisbestsuitedforagiven
process.

Shell&tubeheatexchangers
Advantages
Disadvantages
Widelyknownandunderstoodsinceitisthemost Lessthermallyefficientthanothertypesofheat
commontype
transferequipment
SubjecttoflowinducedvibrationwhichCanlead
Mostversatileintermsoftypesofservice
toequipmentfailure
Widestrangeofallowabledesignpressuresand
Notwellsuitedfortemperaturecrossconditions
temperatures
(multipleunitsinseriesmustbeused)
Ruggedmechanicalconstructioncanwithstand
Containsstagnantzones(deadzones)onthe
moreabuse(physicalandprocess)
shellsidewhichcanleadtocorrosionproblems

Subjecttoflowmaldistributionespeciallywith
twophaseinletstreams

CompactHeatExchangers
Advantages
Disadvantages
Lowinitialpurchasecost(platetype)
Narrowerrageofallowablepressuresand
temperatures
Subjecttoplugging/foulingduetoverynarrow
Manydifferentconfigurationsareavailable
flowpath
(gasketed,semiwelded,welded,spiral)
Highheattransfercoefficients(3ormoretimes
Gasketedunitsrequirespecializedopeningand
greaterthanforshell&tubeheatexchangers,due closingprocedures
tomuchhigherwallshearstress)
Tendtoexhibitlowerfoulingcharacteristicsdueto Materialofconstructionselectioniscriticalsince
thehighturbulencewithintheexchanger
wallthicknessverythin(typicallylessthan10
mm)
Truecountercurrentdesignsallowsignificant

temperaturecrossestobeachieved
Requiresmallfootprintforinstallationandhave

smallvolumeholdup

AirCooledHeatExchangers
Advantages
Disadvantages
Attractiveoptionforlocationswherecoolingwater Highinitialpurchasecost
isscarceorexpensivetotreat
Wellsuitedforcoolinghightemperatureprocess
Requirerelativelylargefootprint
streams(above80oCwhenusingcoolingwater
shouldbeavoided)
Lowmaintenanceandoperatingcosts(typically
Higherprocessoutlettemperature(1020oF
3050%lessthancoolingwater)
abovetheambientdrybulbtemperature)
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2008-2014H&CHeatTransferSolutionsInc.
Phone:(519)381-9128

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