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Designing a Shell and

Heat Exchanger
A simple approach
What is known and how do I
The heat load, Q, must be known usually from
an Energy Balance calculation
The log mean temperature difference, LMTD or
The required process temperatures are usually known
Utility temperatures may be given or have to be
Estimate an initial value of the overall heat
transfer coefficient, Uo take typical values from
references or just assume a value, say 30 W/m2K
First trial design
Calculate the heat transfer area
based on the outside diameter of
tubes, A
Q Do not confuse T lm with
U o Tlm T in Q = m.Cp. T

Based on an assumed tube outside

diameter, Do, and tube length, L,
calculate the
At heat
d o transfer
L area of
one tube
First trial (continued)
Knowing the area required and the
area of one tube, calculate the
N t Ao required:
number of tubes At
Round up to the nearest whole
number. A fractional number implies
a leak!! Rounding down may mean
the requirement of the heat
exchanger is notN t' met.
Call this number
First trial (continued)
Assuming no phase change in either
fluid, check TEMA table for nearest
number of tubes greater N t than (or
equal to) for a single pass
exchanger for Ndexo and tube
N ex chosen. Call this
Knowing calculate the total

Atf area
N ex
d i
Note internal diameter!

First trial (continued)
Knowing the tube-side flowrate,mt ,
and the density of t the fluid, ,
mt t
calculate the volumetric flowrate
and hence the linear velocity in Atf
the tubes by dividing by
If the velocity is in the range of about
1-3 m/s, this is acceptable.
Now calculate the Reynolds number
for the flow in the tubes.
First trial (continued)
From the ESDU equation:
Nu 0.0204 Re 0.805
Pr 0.415

calculate the inside heat transfer coefficient,

Note the exponent on Pr is independent of
heating or cooling (unlike Dittus-Boelter)
Look up a typical dirt film coefficient for the
type of fluid. Note these values are often given
in old units and sometimes as resistances (i.e.,
the reciprocal of the coefficient).
First trial (continued)
The flow in the shell is far less well defined
than that in the tubes. Some is at right
angles to the tubes, then nearly parallel with
the tubes and again at right angles. In
addition there is leakage through the gaps
between the holes in the baffles and the
tubes and in the space between the shell
and the outermost tubes. A rigorous
calculation is therefore difficult without
access to specialised software.
First trial (continued)
Professor Heggs has suggested that
you use a value of 20-50 W m-2 K for
the gas shell-side heat transfer
If you know hdo and kw for the tube
material, the overall heat transfer
coefficient, Uo can be found
First trial (continued)
d o ln
1 1 1 di do do

U o ho hdo 2 kw d i hi d i hid

We can now compare this new

value of Uo with the assumed
If this is in the range 10% of
the assumed value, accept
And now?
If not, repeat the process
WhenU o ,calculated is in the range -10
to +10% of U othe value of
, assumed
accept the value. Specify the heat
Tube Length Tube Thickness
Tube Diameter Tube Arrangement
Tube Passes Headers
Shell Diameter Nozzles
Heat Load Overall HTC, LMTD,
And finally!
Please remember to send me fortnightly
Progress Reports by email and save
them in your Group Wiki in the VLE
Those present, incl. chair & secretary
Any absentees
Progress made I can only guide
Problems encountered you if you tell
me where you
Plans for the next 2 weeks