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Air Cooled Heat Exchanger

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⌂ Home » Introduction » Air Cooled Heat Exchanger

Air Cooled Heat Exchanger
1.0 Introduction to Air Cooled Heat Exchanger

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This kind of heat exchanger are used in petrochemical and refineries to utilize the
atmospheric air to cool the hydrocarbon, process and utility fluids by means of indirect
heat transfer from fluid (within the tube) to be cooled by air being circulated by means
of forces / induced draft fan. In order to increase the heat transfer area, fins are also
attached to the periphery of tubes. These heat exchangers are generally designed,
inspected and tested as per API661 standard.
These exchangers are similar to the radiator of a motor car. The air cooled heat
exchangers are mainly used where the heat load is very high and conventional heat
exchanger becomes extremely big with large water requirement. By using air cooled
heat exchanger, water requirement reduces drastically and cooling tower size comes
down. The air coolers are of very large size as the heat transfer co-efficient with air is
very low. Due to the large size, they are mounted on top of the pipe rack to save space.

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2.0  Types of Air Cooled Heat Exchanger
There are three types of air cooled heat exchanger:

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a)         Forces Draft
b)         Induced Draft
c)         Natural Draft (used for applications like transformer oil cooling)
The outline sketch and components are as identified in figure 1A & B.

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3.0  Definitions used for Air Cooled Heat Exchanger
The general terms used for air cooled heat exchangers are defined below:
a)      Bank
A bank is one or more bays including one or more items arranged on a continuous
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Types 3. Definitions a)…
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drive assembly and piping hooked up to the nozzles located on the inlet and outlet header. 4. 4. tubes and frames. operatibility and maintenance of fan. 5. i)        The fixed point of the tube bundle shall be defined such that the inlet nozzles (hot fluid side) experience minimum movements in comparison to (cold fluid side) outlet nozzle to maintain the nozzle loading within allowable limits.1         Proprietary Equipment Various Mechanical equipments… Nozzle Loads – Part 1 Nozzle Loads 1. 1B. Design Considerations. Plot Plan Arrangement. c)      Bay Nozzle loads – Part 2 << Nozzle loads part 1 1. g)      Tube bundle Or reach me on aj@pipingengineering. e)      Forced Draft exchanger This is the one designed with the tube bundles located in the discharge side of the fan.18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger structure.0  Introduction to Nozzle Loads This post specifies the… A bay is one or more tube bundles serviced by two or more fans and that include structure. http://www. 7. elevation. b)     Bare tube surface Total area of the outside surface of the tubes in sq. 2013 Piping Layout Drawings Abbreviations and Legends  February 21. Popular Recent Comments Nozzle Orientation Drawing  August 12. nozzle size and orientation b)      The proposal shall state whether the vertically mounted electric motors are to be shaft up or shaft down. 2014 Google+ e)      It should show the platform and ladder for accessibility.0 Content of Enquiry Documents (Special Requirements) The enquiry documents shall specify any special requirements concerning location of airflow. f)       It should show the weight of components.html 2/15 . graphite pads or similar material which can withstand the system temperature and compressive load of component at support.0  Vendors Responsibilties The vendor’s proposal shall include the following: a)      A proposal drawing showing major dimensions in plan.com This is an assembly of headers.485 likes Like Page Share Be the first of your friends to like this f)       Induced Draft exchanger This is the one designed with the tube bundles located on the suction side of the fan. g)      The supporting column shall be located such that it matches the supporting structure to house the air cooled heat exchanger e. Dyke EnclosurePart 1  August 6. d)     It should show the relation of the tube bundle part of the bay with respect to the plenum to depict the movement of the nozzle installed on inlet and outlet headers. c)      It should show the supporting arrangement of the tube bundle / plenum. part of fan and drive assembly to derive the lifting beams.g. d)     Finned Surface Piping­engineering The finned surface of a tube is the total area of the outside surface of fins exposed to air. Refer figure 1A. 2. 3. fan and fan drive assembly. monorail and hoist arrangement to be permanently installed for maintenance of such components. stainless steel plate. 5 and 6 to understand the above definition. 2013 Elbow: Component for Piping Direction Change  January 29.piping­engineering. j)        In order to achieve the smooth movement of the tube bundle headers and nozzles over plenum. 2014 Tank farm: Types. h)      Allowable nozzle loading standard or data must be furnished to meet the same during detailed engineering.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger. meter. pipe rack or building structure. a friction between the tube bundle and plenum must be means of providing smooth surface such as Teflon pads. 2014 Guide to Level Instruments Principles & Application  October 19. plenum and other attendant equipment. any obstruction to airflow and other heat sources.

Nozzle size.18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger 6. Dimension and location of supports. 7. vi)    Tubes of multiple pass coolers may not be sloped. v)      Tubes of single pass cooler are sloped towards the outlet header. Any alternative operating conditions including low process flow at low ambient air temperature. freezing of fluids in tubes. iii)    All tubes are supported by vendor to prevent sagging or deformation of fins. to prevent excessive warpage of tube sheets and leakage at tube joints. facing. ii)      When the fluid temperature differential between inlet of one tube pass and the outlet of adjacent tube pass is higher than 110degC then split header construction with ‘U’ tubes or other method of restraint relief shall be employed.0 Approvers Responsibilities The approver shall approve following information received from vendor : 1. Maximum and minimum design temperature. rating.html 3/15 . Drive mounting details. iv)    The cover plate header designer shall permit removal of cover without disturbing header piping connections. c)      Headers i)        Provisions are made in the design of header. Weight of components for erection and maintenance.piping­engineering. ii)      Heating coils to cover the full width of process tube bundle. 4.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger. 2. iii)    Heating coils are normally single pass type. steamout. self contained and designed for handling as a complete assembly. location. hold-down members are attached to side frame by bolting. 7. Screen platform and ladders. iv)    A hold-down member (tube keeper) is provided at each tube support. allowable movements and loading on nozzle (forces and moments). 5. iii)    If the fluid temperature difference between inlet and outlet of multipass bundle exceed 110degC. any cyclic conditions must be included by the vendor in the analysis if specified by the designer. the need of restraint relief shall be insisted. This helps in providing access to tubes during maintenance http://www. 6.0 Design a)      Tube bundle design i)        A tube bundle shall be rigid. Overall dimensions. 3. vii)  The exchanger may be designed for an internal steam out operation at the temperature / pressure specified by the process licensor. projection. ii)      Provision is required to be made by vendor to accommodate thermal expansion of tubes. b)     Heating coils i)        Heating coils are provided to protect the process tube bundle against freeze up and are provided in the bundle separate from the process bundle. stoppage of fan due to power failure.

terrain. shall be provided for platform as per good engineering practice. ii)      Maintenance platform shall be provided beneath each drive assembly for easy access to drive and for removal and replacement during maintenance of all drive components. Annexure-A ii)      The sum of nozzle on a single header will consist of components that do not exceed Mx of 4500 ft.18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger and repairs. v)      The bonnet header design shall permit removal of bonnet with minimum dismantling of header piping. This helps in providing access to the tubes during maintenance and repairs without disturbing the header as well as piping. My of 6000 ft. Fy of 4500 lbs and Fz of 3750 lbs.lbs.lbs and Fx of 2250 lbs. g)      Drive arrangements Refer figure 3 and 7 for typical drive arrangement for air cooled heat exchanger. friction from sliding or rolling of equipment. thermal forces and the weight of fluid in the piping. f)       Air side design The environmental factors such as weather. i)          Mechanical Access facilities i)        The number and location of header access platform interconnecting walkways and ladder shall be specified in enquiry specification during detailed engineering. The application of the forces and moments as per Annexure A will cause movement that will tend to reduce the loads to the values given above. d)     Nozzle and other connections i)        All connection 1 ½” and larger shall be flanged ii)      In hydrogen service all connections shall be flanged and slip on flange shall not be used. Mz of 3000 ft. ii)      Nozzle load shall include all forces and moment applied to the nozzle face including the dead weight of pipe. The platform shall be provided all around the drive assembly. vi)    Plug header are equipped with threaded plug holes provided opposite to the ends of each tube for access. Railings. all connections shall be flanged.lbs.html 4/15 .piping­engineering. adjacent building and equipment will influence the air flow and hence performance of an air cooled heat exchanger for fan dispersion angle refer figure 3. iii)    Ladder. toe plates and safety chains with safety bolts etc. This helps in access to the tubes during maintenance and repairs. iii)    Where design conditions require class 900 or higher flange rating. iii)    The total of all nozzle loads on one multi bundle bay shall not exceed 3 times allowed for a single header. http://www. h)     Design loads i)        Thermal forces shall include all forces due to partial or complete anchorage of piping or equipment.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger. and forces from expansion or contraction of structure. iv)    Header shall be provided with toe bone or knee railing on the side next to the exchanger. e)      Maximum allowable moments and forces for nozzle and headers i)        In corroded condition each nozzle shall be capable of withstanding the simultaneous application of the forces of the forces and moments as defined in Annexure A.

The piping gets connected to nozzles of this header box. 5. Following different type of constructions are generally available: a)         Singlepass Cooler.1      The tube bundle has a provision to move in lateral direction + 6 mm or 13mm in one direction. fan. 8.0  Design Features of Air Cooled Heat Exchanger Air cooler consist of tubes. The following general design featured shall be taken into account from equipment layout/piping layout point of view. Typical drawing of above arrangement is attached here with (refer fig. The fan is provided below the tube bundles in force draft arrangement. 8. 2. needs to be specified during enquiring stage. http://www. This is shown in figure 1. Tubes are all placed in number of horizontal layers and both ends of the tubes are welded in the rectangular header box. This movement is required for accommodating piping header movement.html 5/15 . motor and sometimes louvers. the fluid enters and leaves from the same end of the header box. b)         Multipass Cooler. In multipass with even number of passes and ‘U’ tube. header boxes. 6) these header boxes are supported on steel frame.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger. This is similar to tube sheet of conventional heat exchanger.18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger 8. The fan is provided above tubes in induced draft arrangement.piping­engineering. In case additional movement is required due to piping. the fluid enters from one end of the header box and leaves at the other end of the header box. c)          U tube Coolers In a single pass and multipass cooler with odd number of passes.2      The tube expands in longitudinal direction and normally a provision is made such that the inlet header side is a fixed side and tube expands in the other direction.

9. 9. this is installed on the top of the pipe rack. if required check with process department.e. This may not be possible to adjust some times as each tube bundle may have varied width depending on service condition and adjusting piperack columns for different width may not be feasible from structural design and detailing point of view. Following points need to be taken care while laying air cooler piping.3          Length of each branch pipe for all bundles from its header shall be more or less same to keep pressure drop same and equal distribution of fluids to all bundles.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger. 9. This data is required to be given very early in the project as it is to be considered in piperack design.0  Consideration from Equipment Layout Point of View 9. after tenth bundle and before starting of next five bundles. 10.1              This equipment requires smooth air flow for cooling purpose hence the location of the equipment should be such that it is not closely surrounded by equipment or structure which blocks the air flow path. This means say one cooler may consist of 10 bundles and other one of 5 bundles then walkways should be provided between. But the bundle can move in transverse direction of tubes + 6 mm or if it is fixed at one edge then it can move by 13 mm in the other direction. http://www.html 6/15 . 9.4              It is required to provide walkways between two sets of air coolers. The application is very common in case of column overhead vapor condensation. 9. The typical configuration of inlet piping is shown in Figure 8. 9. Platform all around is better for maintenance. It is required to provide access platform underneath the cooler for motor & for maintenance. 10. which can simplify the pipe rack design.5 to 2.0 m wide as this will be the only place at that elevation to store tools and parts during maintenance. Line sizing during the distribution should be sufficient. 10. This platform can be a localized also.0  Consideration from Piping Point of View The air coolers are mainly used where very large quantity of vapor is required to get condensed or very large quantity of gas/ liquid is required to be cooled.2          In case of supply line having very low pressure.9              Inlet piping of air cooler has a symmetrical distribution and loops as explained later in this article. 11.8              To access the air cooler platforms or motor maintenance platform. the space on the ground can also be saved and the plant becomes more compact. 9.5              The air coolers on the piperack shall be located such a way that at least from one side the bundles are accessible with crane.3              Normally tube bundle length is fixed based on the width of the piperack or structure so that the supporting legs of air cooler bundle comes on the main beams. of bends to minimum without sacrificing functional and stress requirement. 10. Also it is preferable to adjust piperack / structure longitudinal column spacing based on the width of the air cooler bundle so that legs of bundle straight away sit on top of the column. 9. At the same time by installing on top of the rack. 10.2              To give a better air flow.1          Piping distribution to air cooler should be symmetrical from centre line of complete air cooler assembly.7              Air coolers have motors hanging at the bottom of the cooler.piping­engineering. If air cooler is required to be mounted in eccentric position i. care shall be taken to keep no.6              Air cooler should have access platform mounted on the air cooler structure at least on the operating side. vendor shall be informed early enough. to get 13 mm movement in one direction.4          Inlet side header box shall be considered as a fixed point (in tube direction) for piping connection. This walkway shall be minimum 1. 9. a regular staircase is required to be provided. or structure so that there is no obstruction to reduce air flow. This is required to be supported hence either air cooler structural columns need to be extended upwards to support piping or piperack / structure columns. 10.18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger 9. This movement is required for piping header expansion compensation.

that will tell whether the differential loading will allow bundle to move or not with friction factor on support point.5          The transverse movement of bundle can occur only when piping connected to nozzles generate enough force to overcome friction at the bundle support point. feed 1 mm nozzle movement to that nozzle and carry out analysis. 10. 10. check the loading on each nozzle. That is why normally at the support point vendor provides S. Now do the analysis & find out which all nozzle loads exceeds.7.7           While doing stress analysis.3    In case it is difficult to model air cooler due to some reason. the piping stress analysis to be carried out. In the first case where nozzle is considered as anchor point. PTFE plate or ball bearings to ease the movement.e.S plate.4    The outlet piping when analyzed. the nozzle loads shown by computer in operating condition will be taking care of bundle movement. After the analysis. with weight & support friction. But most of the time it is difficult. During this analysis all the nozzles in longitudinal & transverse direction to be considered as rigid i.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger. then model air cooler bundle as a rigid element with total weight of bundle with supports and friction co-efficient depending on type of supports. the following considerations shall be given. In case nozzle loads on some nozzles exceed API 661 limits.1    It is ideal to simulate the complete air cooler with tubes. This 1 mm movement shall be fed in the direction in which header will try to move the bundle.6          The force due to thermal expansion of piping created on the bundle nozzle shall be less than the limits given by API 661. By modeling the air cooler either as rigid element or as a normal equipment. Of course this is a very crude method of analysis and as far as possible should be avoided unless it is a very small air cooler and nozzle load is not governing the design. the bundle movement due to inlet piping should be modeled if analysis for inlet & outlet is not done together. header boxes and support points in computer program. 10. Consider all nozzles as anchor points and model complete piping system as usual. anchor. the configuration of such pipe needs to be modified to reduce nozzle loads.7.18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger 10. Again nozzle loading criteria for outlet piping to be met as per API 661.7.2    After modeling piping along with each bundle as explained above. 10. the following method should be adopted. http://www. find out the difference between actual loads & API loads.7. If these loading are within the limits of API 661 there is no problem. 10.html 7/15 . 10.piping­engineering. If it still does not meet go on adding movement of 1 mm & check till results are satisfactory. the nozzle where load is exceeding the values of API 661.

com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger.18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger Fig1A – Typical Air Cooler Arrangement http://www.piping­engineering.html 8/15 .

18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger Fig 1B: Air Cooler Section Fig 2: Typical Bay Arrangement http://www.html 9/15 .piping­engineering.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger.

com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger.piping­engineering.html 10/15 .18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger Fig 3: Fan Dispersion Angle Fig 4: Typical Plenum Arrangements http://www.

piping­engineering.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger.18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger Fig 5: Typical Construction of Tube bundles with Removable Cover Plate and Removable Bonnet Headers Fig 6: Typical Construction of a Tube Bundle with Plug Headers http://www.html 11/15 .

piping­engineering.html 12/15 .18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger Fig 7: Typical Drive Arrangements 11 Mi piace Tweet Fig 8: Air Cooler Inlet Piping – Various options http://www.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger.

piping­engineering. Subscribe   Unsubscribe  Fig 9: Air Cooler Outlet Piping – Various Options Fig 10: Air Cooler Pigtail Configurations – Various Options http://www.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger.html 13/15 .18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger Sign up to get latest FREE articles right to your inbox! × Your email: Enter email address...

18/7/2015 Air Cooled Heat Exchanger Fig 11: Air Cooler Pigtail Configurations – Various Options Related Posts: Design Guide For Heat Exchanger Piping Table of contents: 1.piping­engineering.html 14/15 . Required fields are marked * Name * Email * Check here to Subscribe to notifications for new posts Post Comment Confirm you are NOT a spammer http://www. Definitions a)… Nozzle loads – Part 2 << Nozzle loads part 1 1.com/air­cooled­heat­exchanger.1         Proprietary Equipment Various Mechanical equipments… Nozzle Loads – Part 1 Nozzle Loads 1. No.0  Introduction to Nozzle Loads This post specifies the… Cooling Tower: Heat Transfer Equipment in Process Industry 1. General 2. List REVIEW/ QUERIES ON DOCUMENTS RECEIVED FROM CLIENT/… Share this on WhatsApp LEAVE A REPLY Your email address will not be published. Types 3.0 Introduction to Cooling Tower: Cooling Tower is the most common… Check List – (Piping) Project Start/ Kick-Off Meeting… Sr.

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