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Applied Thermal Engineering 25 (2005) 24122420

A new chart method for evaluating single-phase shell side heat transfer coecient in a single segmental shell and tube heat exchanger
Zahid H. Ayub

Isotherm, Inc., 7401 Commercial Blvd. East, Arlington, TX 76001, United States Received 26 February 2004; accepted 14 December 2004 Available online 23 February 2005

Abstract This paper presents a simple but accurate method to calculate shell side heat transfer coecient in a single segmental shell and tube heat exchanger. The method is based on a chart which is a product of actual data taken over a span of several years. The calculation procedure is presented with a case study. The results are compared with known methods and commercial/proprietary computer codes prevalent in the industry. The results from this method compare well with HTRI computer program. This method can prove to be a helpful tool for design engineers in the eld. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Shell and tube exchanger; Single phase; Heat transfer coecient

1. Introduction Shell side heat transfer analysis has been the subject of discussion since the late forties. It has undergone through various phases with addition of intricate complexity. With the advent of the

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Nomenclature cp d D h k Lc V l l0 q liquid specic heat (Btu/lb F) tube outside diameter (in.) shell inside diameter (in.) heat transfer coecient (Btu/h ft2 F) liquid thermal conductivity (Btu/h ft F) bae cut (in.) (Fig. 4) shell side velocity (ft/s) dynamic viscosity (centipoises) dynamic viscosity at exit temperature (centipoises) uid density (lb/ft3)

power of computer, the complex calculation procedures have been adequately addressed. However, it is important to produce a simple but an accurate procedure that can be used by practicing engineers in the eld with greater reliability. In 1949 Donohue [1] presented a simple shell side heat transfer approach without considering leakage and by-pass eects. A similar procedure was also presented by Kern [2]. Due to lack of availability of statistical data, Donohue and Kern had proposed using de-rating factors for by-pass eects. Obviously, this approach was not considered accurate enough since in some cases it resulted in unrealistic sizes. This observation was armed by Palen and Taborek [3] comparing results from Donohue and Kern to experimental data developed by an industry sponsored organization, Heat Transfer Research Institute (HTRI). It is important to provide essential but reliable tools to practicing and design engineers. A simple design tool that an engineer can use gives greater insight into the subject matter rather than feeding data into a computer code written by someone else. The designer can observe rst hand the eect of change in a variable due to a change in another variable. For example if a bae cut is changed with other parameters xed, the eect on the size or the rating could be clearly observed. This paper is intended to address this issue. A new method is proposed to calculate single-phase shell side heat transfer coecient for a typical single segmental shell and tube heat exchanger. In this paper a calculation method based on a chart is presented. Numerous correlations are condensed in a chart form to make it more users friendly.

2. Background: shell side single-phase ow In a typical shell and tube heat exchanger, two uids exchange heat while being separated from each other. One uid is on the shell side and another on the tube side. To understand the mechanical and construction details there is an unlimited supply of information in the form of books, articles, papers and more recently, the internet. Therefore, this aspect of the exchanger will not be addressed in this paper. A typical shell and tube heat exchanger is shown in Fig. 1 with its major components.


Z.H. Ayub / Applied Thermal Engineering 25 (2005) 24122420

Shell Baffle

Rear Head

Front Head



Fig. 1. Shell and tube heat exchanger.

There are essentially two models that address the ow on the shell side. The ideal ow and real ow models. The calculation procedures provided by Donohue [1] and Kern [2] were based on ideal ow model as shown in Fig. 2. This type of ow can only exist in a heat exchanger if it is manufactured with the following mechanical features: (a) Each bae is welded to the shell inside diameter at the contact line so that there is no possibility of leakage between the shell and the bae. (b) The annular space between the tube and the bae hole is either mechanically closed or a bushing is inserted to eliminate any uid leak across the clearance between the bae hole and the tube. (c) The tube bundle layout is such that there are no lands and extra spaces for ribs and impingement plates. The outer tube limit (OTL) almost touches the inner diameter of the shell.

Fig. 2. Ideal shell side ow.

Z.H. Ayub / Applied Thermal Engineering 25 (2005) 24122420


It is obvious that the above features are cost prohibitive and therefore not practical. Because of constructional constraints almost all practical heat exchangers have gaps between bae to shell and tube to bae. By-pass occurs through these gaps and a portion of the shell side uid passes across the bundle cross-section. Tinker [4] presented an elaborate model based on the concept of stream analysis in which the ow through the bundle was assumed to be divided into various ow paths as shown in Fig. 3. Tinker named these stream paths as A, B, C, and E. Later stream F was added to the group. This stream designation has become an industry standard. Stream A is the leakage between the bae holes and the tubes. Its eect is not too drastic since this fraction of the total ow is still in contact with the tube surface. Stream B is the ow across the tube bundle between two adjacent baes. The goal of a good design is to maximize this ow. Stream C is the leakage between the outer tube limit (OTL) and the shell inside diameter. Due to partial contact with tube surface, this stream also contributes to the heat transfer. One simple approach to reduce this leakage is to install longitudinal sealing strips between the OTL and shell at the plane of the bae cut. Stream E is the leakage in the annular section formed between the shell inside diameter and the bae diameter. This stream is undesirable due to lack of contribution to the heat transfer between the two uids. Stream F is the leakage within the bundle in the sections where there are no tubes in order to accommodate tube side ribs or shell side impingement plates. Since a part of this stream is still in contact with a portion of tubes there is still some contribution to the heat transfer. A simple way to avoid this is to install dummy tubes or rods in the tube bundle. Tinker [4] has provided a procedure to evaluate these individual ow fractions and hence calculate the shell side heat transfer coecient. The concept sounds good but due to lack of actual data, it was merely a guess work and involved tedious calculations that could only be performed with the computers. This probably prompted Tinker [5] to present a simplied method in 1958 that became the foundation for further simplied methods presented by Devore [6] and Fraaz and Ozisik [7]. The results of extensive study by Palen and Taborek [3] with large data bank from exchangers were utilized to develop a proprietary iterative stream analysis method more or less in line with the basic concept of Tinker.






Fig. 3. Various shell side ow paths in a real exchanger.


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In view of the computational complexities of Tinker method, Bell [8] carried out a detailed shell side experimental and analytical work at the University of Delaware. The fundamental principle was the same as presented by Tinker, but the computational approach was simpler. This method is also known as Delaware Method [9]. The ow fractions are presented as a function of fractional ow areas available to individual streams. The ideal ow heat transfer coecient is then adjusted with several correction factors.

3. The new chart method for shell side coecient All the previous methods mentioned require elaborate and tedious calculation procedures. The author has collected vast data in his 17 years of direct involvement in the design, fabrication and installation of shell and tube heat exchangers. Also, having access to data collected over a period of 20 years by a now defunct shell and tube manufacturing company, therefore, resulting in a database that spreads over a span of 37 years. This data could be presented in the form of numerous correlations for specic Reynolds number and bae cut range. This would obviously result in too many correlations making the job even more tedious for a eld or design engineer. In fact it would go against the spirit of this paper. Therefore, to maintain the accuracy and still keep the calculation procedure simple, a chart has been devised to calculate the shell side heat transfer correlation. The statistical error is less than 5%. This chart could be used with greater accuracy for a straight or U-tube bundle with single segmental baes shell and tube heat exchangers. If need arises the detailed correlations could be presented in a future paper. This method is time tested and shows promising results when applied correctly. The reason for this accuracy is that all the ow conditions assumed in the Tinker and Delaware method are incorporated into this particular method for the data is a product of actual heat exchangers on the test stands and/or in the eld. Every exchanger was designed in a conventional manner with shell, segmental baes, tie-rods, spacers, tube sheets and tubes. They were all designed per standard procedures with clearances between tube to bae hole and bae to shell inside diameter. The tube bundles were for full xed tube sheet bundles with spread out OTL or oating tube sheet conguration with smaller OTL. The bundles were also single pass or multiple passes on the tube side. Hence, the correction for stream F is incorporated in the design procedure. The chart is shown in Fig. 4. The chart shows curves for dierent single segmental bae cuts. The bae cut (Lc/D) varies 20 50%. This is a practical range and covers almost all exchangers manufactured in the industry. In order to use the chart the following factors and parameters have to be evaluated rst. (a) Parameter Fz. This is a dimensional number. The reason for its dimensional nature is that the individual parameters within the equation are presented in daily-use units, so that the engineers do not have to convert units, but rather follow a straight plug-in procedure. F z q dV =l 1

where q is shell side uid density in lb/ft3; d is tube outside diameter in in.; V is shell side velocity in ft/s; l is bulk viscosity in centipoises.

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6000 5000

3000 2000

800 700 600 500 400 300
30 40

0.2 0.5






.04 .05 .06 .07 .08 .09 .1 .2 .3

.02 .03


Fig. 4. Chart for calculating shell side heat transfer coecient.

(b) Factor Fs. This is the shell side geometry factor and incorporates bae cut, bae arrangement, and ow intensity eects. (c) Factor Fp. Factor Fp is the pitch factor. The value of Fp depends upon the tube layout of the bundle. Fp = 1.00 for triangular and diagonal square pitch (Fig. 5) = 0.85 for in-line square pitch (Fig. 5). (d) Factor FL. This is called the leakage factor. It incorporates all the stream leakages and is a function of bundle conguration, i.e., straight tube, U-tube or oating bundle. Typical values for dierent congurations are:


.6 .7











F s


p p p

50 60


30 rotated triangle

60 triangle


Fig. 5. Dierent tube pitch layouts.


rotated square



400 500

0.35 0.4

90 100

600 700 800

Lc D







Z.H. Ayub / Applied Thermal Engineering 25 (2005) 24122420

FL = 0.90 for straight tube bundle = 0.85 U-tube bundle = 0.80 for oating bundle It is important to note that for exchangers with unusually high leakage or ow by-pass a lower value of FL be used. This would be a matter of individual judgment and design decision. The shell side heat transfer coecient is then given as: h F s F p F L k 2=3 cp l1=3 l=l0 0:14 =d To nd the bundle velocity in Eq. (1) it is recommended to follow the following procedure. (a) Select the initial shell diameter (D), tube diameter (d), and tube pitch (p). (b) Select a bae cut (Lc/D) and evaluate the window area available to uid ow. Equate this area to the area at the mid-section of the bundle and calculate the minimum space between the two adjacent baes. It is a good practice to keep the magnitude of the cross-ow and the window area the same. (c) Based upon this area evaluate the velocity at the mid-section of the bundle (cross-ow) by using continuity equation. 2

4. Comparison and results To compare the results from this method to other available methods a rating calculation was performed on an arbitrary liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger with 12.7500 outer diameter, schedule 40 pipe and 9600 nominal tube length with water on both shell side and tube side. All other geometric parameters were kept the same for each calculation run as shown in Table 1. The other three methods selected for the case study were (a) Delaware, (b) HTRI, and (c) B-JAC. The HTRI and B-JAC software are available to members only. Water was selected as a working medium to keep least amount of discrepancy in the thermodynamic and transport properties. The results are shown in Table 2. It is interesting to note that the cross-ow Reynolds number for the present method and HTRI results are within 9% of each other and Delaware almost similar to HTRI. However, B-JAC results are 34% and 29% less than present method and HTRI, respectively. This lower value in Reynolds number on part of B-JAC does not t well when we compare the shell side velocities. The B-JAC velocity is only 6% less than HTRI whereas the Reynolds number is 29% less as shown above. A possible explanation for this anomalous behavior could be attributed to the tube conguration especially at the mid-section of the bundle in the B-JAC program. The shell side heat transfer coecients for each of the methods is shown in Table 2. HTRI and present method results are almost identical. B-JAC is 15% over and Delaware is 24% under this method and HTRI. Moreover, B-JACs higher coecient with lowest Reynolds number could be inherent to the program. One reason could be higher contribution of stream B (48%) versus 40.4% for HTRI. Table 2 also shows the overall heat transfer coecients for the clean, dirty, and service conditions. Since this study is a case of rating and not design, it is important to look at the Uservice values for all four

Z.H. Ayub / Applied Thermal Engineering 25 (2005) 24122420 Table 1 Input data for rating Heat load (Btu/h) Shell side inlet temperature (F) Shell side out temperature (F) Tube side inlet temperature (F) Tube side outlet temperature (F) Shell side ow (lb/h) Tube side ow (lb/h) Shell side fouling factor (h ft2 F/Btu) Tube side fouling factor (h ft2 F/Btu) Shell inside diameter (in.) Tube outside diameter (in.) Tube wall (in.) Tube pitch (in.) Tube pattern No of tubes Tube side passes Bae cut (%) Bae spacing (in.) Bae thickness (in.) Material 2,000,000 150 70 120 100 100,000 100,000 0.0005 0.0005 12.09 0.75 0.049 0.9375 30 triangular 100 2 30 H 4.0 0.125 All carbon steel


Table 2 Output data Present method Shell side Reynolds no. Shell side cross-ow area (in.2) B Stream (%) Shell side velocity (ft/s) Shell side HTC (Btu/h ft2 F) Uclean (Btu/h ft2 F) Udirty (Btu/h ft2 F) Uservice (Btu/h ft2 F) 26024 12.36 5.19 1314 484 316 269 Delaware 24206 12.10 4.62 1000 463 309 417 HTRI (ST-5) 23912 40.4 3.61 1321 501 326 270 B-JAC (HETRAN) 17101 48 3.40 1522 508 329 266

methods. It is obvious that this method, HTRI, and B-JAC results are similar, whereas, Delaware shows 55% over-surface which not only results in extra cost, but also more space, too. The Uclean values show that B-JAC and HTRI results are similar while this method is 5% and Delaware is 9% less than B-JAC. This is obviously a function of tube side thermal resistance which in turn is a function of the choice of correlation used to evaluate the internal heat transfer coecient.

5. Conclusion A new chart method is presented to calculate single-phase shell side heat transfer coecient in a typical TEMA style single segmental shell and tube heat exchanger. A case study of rating


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water-to-water exchanger is shown to indicate the result from this method with the more established procedures and softwares available in the market. The results show that this new method is reliable and comparable to the most widely known HTRI software. However, it is easy to incorporate it as a simple but accurate design tool that can be benecial for the design engineers in the eld.

[1] D.A. Donohue, Heat transfer and pressure drop in heat exchangers, Ind. Eng. Chem. 41 (11) (1949) 499511. [2] D.Q. Kern, Process Heat Transfer, McGraw-Hill, 1950. [3] J.W. Palen, J. Taborek, Solution of shell side ow pressure drop and heat transfer by stream analysis method, Chem. Eng. Prog. Symp. Ser. 65 (92) (1969). [4] T. Tinker, Shell side characteristics of shell and tube heat exchangers, parts I, II and III, general discussion of heat transfer, in: Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., London, 1951. [5] T. Tinker, Shell side characteristics of shell and tube heat exchangers: a simplied rating system for commercial heat exchangers, J. Heat Transfer 80 (1958) 3652. [6] A. Devore, Use nomograms to speed exchanger calculations, Hydrocarbon Process. Pet. Rener 41 (12) (1962) 101 106. [7] A.P. Fraaz, M.N. Ozisik, Heat Exchanger Design, Wiley & Sons, 1965. [8] K.J. Bell, Final Report of the Cooperative Research Program on shell-and-tube heat exchangers, University of Delaware Eng. Exp. Sta. Bulletin 5, 1963. [9] Wolverine Company, Engineering Data Book II, 1984.