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Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) is a useful tool in solving and analysing problems that
involve fluid flows, while shell and tube heat exchanger is the most common type of heat
exchanger and widely use in oil refinery and other large chemical processes because it suite
for high pressure application. The processes in solving the simulation consist of modelling
and meshing the basic geometry of shell and tube heat exchanger using the CFD. Then, the
boundary condition will be set before been simulate based on the experimental parameters.
Parameter that had been used was the same parameter of experimental at constant mass flow
rate of cold water and varies with mass flow rate. CFD model is validated by comparison to
the experimental results


A shell and tube heat exchanger is a class of heat exchanger designs. It is the most common
type of heat exchanger in oil refineries and other large chemical processes, and it is suite for
high pressure applications. As its name implies, this type of heat exchanger consists of a shell
with a bundle of tubes inside. The basic principle of operation is very simple as flows of two
fluids with different temperature brought into close contact but prevented from mixing by a
physical barrier. Then the temperature between two fluids tends to equalize by transfer of
heat through the tube wall. The fluids can be either liquids or gases on either the shell or the
tube side. In order to transfer heat efficiently, a large heat transfer area should be used,
leading to the use of many tubes. In this way, waste heat can be put to use. The tubes may be
straight or bent in the shape of a U. The heat exchanger is used to boil water recycled from a
surface condenser into steam to drive a turbine to produce power. Computational Fluid
Dynamics or CFD is the analysis of systems involving fluid flow, heat transfer and associated
phenomena such as chemical reactions by means of computer based simulation. The
technique is very powerful to perform the millions of calculations required to simulate the
interaction of fluids and gases with complex surfaces used in engineering. CFD not just spans
on chemical industry, but a wide range of industrial and nonindustrial application areas such

 Aerodynamics of aircraft and vehicles.

 Combustion in IC engines and gas turbines in power plant.
 Loads on offshore structures in marine engineering.
 Blood flows through arteries and vein in biomedical engineering.
 Weather prediction in meteorology.
 Flows inside rotating passages and diffusers in turbo-machinery.
 External and internal environment of building like wind loading and heating or
ventilation system.
 Mixing and separation or polymer moulding in chemical process engineering.
 Distribution of pollutants and effluents in environmental engineering

Increasingly CFD is becoming a vital component in the design of industrial products and
processes. The development in the CFD field provides a capability comparable to other
Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools such as stress analysis codes.
Literature Review

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical
analysis and data structures to solve and analyze problems that involve fluid flows.
Computers are used to perform the calculations required to simulate the interaction of liquids
and gases with surfaces defined by boundary conditions. CFD software gives you the power
to simulate flows of gases and liquids, heat and mass transfer, moving bodies, multiphase
physics, chemical reaction, fluid-structure interaction and acoustics through computer
modeling. This software can also build a virtual prototype of the system or device before can
be apply to real-world physics and chemistry to the model, and the software will provide with
images and data, which predict the performance of that design. Computational fluid dynamics
(CFD) is useful in a wide variety of applications and use in industry. The simulation is
performed using the FLUENT software. ANSYS Fluent is the most-powerful computational
fluid dynamics (CFD) software tool available, empowering you to go further and faster as
you optimize your product's performance. Fluent includes well-validated physical modeling
capabilities to deliver fast, accurate results across the widest range of CFD and multiphysics
applications. As for the shell and tube heat exchangers, they are widely used equipment in
various industries such as process, power generation, petroleum refining, chemicals and
paper. A shell-and-tube heat exchanger is a type of heat exchanger that consists of a cylinder
carrying one fluid, with some smaller cylinders inside it carrying another fluid. Two fluids, of
different starting temperatures, flow through the heat exchanger. One flows through the tubes
(the tube side) and the other flows outside the tubes but inside the shell (the shell side). Heat
is transferred from one fluid to the other through the tube walls, either from tube side to shell
side or vice versa. The fluids can be either liquids or gases on either the shell or the tube side.
To transfer heat efficiently, a large heat transfer area should be used, leading to the use of
many tubes. In this way, waste heat can be used. This is an efficient way to conserve energy.
The developments for shell-and-tube exchangers center on better conversion of pressure drop
into heat transfer by improving the conventional baffle designs. A good baffle design, while
attempting to direct the flowing a plug flow manner, also must fulfill the main function of
providing adequate tube support.

Heat exchangers transfers heat between a solid object and a fluid, or between two or more
fluids. The fluids may be separated by a solid wall to prevent mixing or they may be in direct
contact. Heat transfer is a discipline of thermal engineering that concerns the generation, use,
conversion, and exchange of thermal energy and heat between physical systems. Heat transfer
is classified into various mechanisms, such as thermal conduction, thermal convection,
thermal radiation, and transfer of energy by phase changes. Heat transfer always occurs from
a hot body to a cold one, a result of the second law of thermodynamics.
Numerical Approach and Related Case Study

One of the examples of heat exchanger simulation is by using CHEMCAD Steady State
together with CC-THERM. CC-THERM is an add-on program and comprises the rigorous
simulation of heat exchangers (tubular, plate and twin heat exchangers and air coolers)
whereas CHEMCAD Steady State offers the possibility to simulate heat exchangers through a
simple energy and mass balance. However, CHEMCAD Steady State does not calculate heat
transfer coefficient and the construction parameters are not taken into consideration.

For example:

Water (1,5 bar, 20 m³/h) is to be heated from 10°C to at least 90°C with hot process water
(130°C, 2.7 bar, 50 m³/h). The heat exchanger is to be operated countercurrent. In doing so,
the process water that flows in the tubes should not be cooled down by more than 50 K
maximum. A tubular heat exchanger is dismounted from on old system and will then be used
for this task. The data of the heat exchanger is stated below:

Design : TEMA R/BEM

Material : Carbon Steel (also C-steel or structural steel)
Inner cladding diameter (m) : 0.8
No. of tubes : 670
Length of tubes (m) : 4
Tube alignment : Turned triangular form (60°)
Tube spacing : 1,25∙ dtube
Tube dimensions : dout = 19 mm; din = 16 mm
Number of baffle plates : 11
Spacing of the baffle pieces (m) : 0.32
Free cross section in shell side (%) : 30
Tube nozzle diameter (tube side) (m) : 0.1
Tube nozzle diameter (shell side) (m) : 0.15

The aim of this simulation is to examine by means of a rating whether the heat exchanger
delivers the required performance and that the pressure loss (both tube and shell) will not
exceed 0.5 bar.
Figure : Design of BEM Heat Exchanger

For this simulation, the simplest model, ideal Raoult’s Law is chosen. The hot flow is set to
have an outlet temperature in excess of 80°C and the cold flow with outlet temperature of

Figure : Flow sheet with heat exchanger in Figure : Settings of HTXR heat exchanger

Figure : Results table of the simple heat exchanger

Now, we move to the CC-THERM part. For the rigorous simulation, CC-THERM is now
called up at "Sizing: Heat Exchangers".

After selecting the tubular heat exchanger, the module first asks which feed stream is
supposed to flow through the heat exchanger in the tubes first.

CHEMCAD generates the Q-T diagram. This is generated with 11 data points (pre-setting). It
is also possible to choose between concurrent and counter current in the settings window
"Heat Curve Parameters".

Figure: Q-T diagram

The Q-T diagram already shows whether a phase change occurs inside the heat exchanger.
With a pure component system, it can be expected that the temperature will no longer
increase in the case of a phase change, so that the curves will become horizontal. The
geometric layout of the heat exchanger is defined in the next step. The layout is stated using
the TEMA standard.

Then, geometric data of the heat exchanger is defined in more detail in the following. In the
case of rating, all entry fields can be edited. In the case of design, the number and length of
the tubes are calculated and therefore cannot be edited. CHEMCAD already contains pre-set
values for a tubular heat exchanger. The dimension of the tubes is 3/4 inch. However, all
values can be overwritten manually.

After the simulation is done, here the results that we obtained:

Table: Results table after the CC-THERM simulation


As a conclusion, CFD enables scientists and engineers to perform ‘numerical

experiments’.we can clearly say that CFD method is far more better to gather data compared
to experimental way. Through this case study, It becomes evident that the outlet temperature
of the hot stream is now cooled down to approximately 85°C (previously: 95°C). The outlet
temperature of the cold stream is now 110°C. The heat exchanger thus delivers the required
performance. The pressureloss, amongst other parameters,can be derived from the results of
the heat exchanger (Figure 21). The pressure loss is less than 0.5 bar, on both the tube and the
shell sides. These requirements are therefore fulfilled.


Hamming, R. W. (1962). Numerical methods for scientists and engineers. New York:

Othman, K. H. (2009). CFD simulation of heat transfer in shell and tube heat exchanger.
Kuantan, Pahang: UMP.
KKEK 2142
Numerical Methods for Engineering II

Simulation of heat transfer process in a Shell

and Tube Heat Exchanger
by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Name Matric Number

Tan Hong Ning KEK130055
Nik Faris Faheem bin Nik Lukman Dzuki KEK130037
Mohd Zhariff Azli bin Roziki KEK130031
Piradeepan Ramachandran KEK130045
Athena Hollistini Anak Stanley Hollis KEK130008
Wan Muhd Farizan Wan Ahmad Dahlan KEK130061
Zaim Nor Rashid bin Zainol Nor Rashid KEK130065
Muzammil Iqbal