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Heat Exchanger Selection

Choosing the best exchanger for a

given process application

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Hyprotech UK Ltd holds the copyright to these lectures. Lecturers have permission
to use the slides and other documents in their lectures and in handouts to students
provided that they give full acknowledgement to Hyprotech. The information must
not be incorporated into any publication without the written permission of
Lecture series
• Introduction to heat
exchangers Q = U A ∆T
• Selection of the best
type for a given
• Selection of right
shell and tube
• Design of shell and

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
The steps

• “Coarse filter”
– Rejecting those exchangers which will
not be suitable on the grounds of
operating pressure and temperature, fluid-
material compatibility, handling extreme
thermal conditions
• “Fine filter”
– Estimating the cost of those which may
be suitable
© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
“Coarse filter”
• Use information on next few slides to reject
those exchangers which are clearly out of
range or are otherwise unsuitable
• The information is summarised in the table
• At this stage, if in doubt, include the
exchanger (poor choices are likely to turn
out expensive at the “fine filter” stage)

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
The table in the accompanying Lecturer Pack should be copied for students use in
the examples.
General points
• Tubes and cylinders can withstand higher
pressures than plates
• If exchangers can be built with a variety of
materials, then it is more likely that you can
find a metal which will cope with extreme
temperatures or corrosive fluids
• More specialist exchangers have less
suppliers, longer delivery times and must be
repaired by experts

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
The last point means that specialist exchangers are not favoured in less developed
parts of the world
Thermal effectiveness
Stream temperature rise divided by the
theoretically maximum possible
temperature rise
T1,in − T1,out
T1,in − T2 ,in

T1,in T1,out

T2,out T2,in
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Lecturer’s Guide
The effectiveness can be calculated for each stream. The higher of the two is the
one that is important. Typically, exchangers are designed with an effectiveness of
60 - 80 per cent. All exchanger types can handle this. However, more specialist
exchangers are required for an effectiveness above about 90 per cent, as will be
Double Pipe
Simplest type has one tube inside another - inner
tube may have longitudinal fins on the outside

However, most have a

number of tubes in the outer
tube - can have very many tubes
thus becoming a shell-and-tube

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Lecturer’s Guide
Double pipe

• Normal size
– 0.25 to 200m2 (2.5 to 2000 ft2) per unit
– Note multiple units are often used
• Built of carbon steel where possible

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Lecturer’s Guide
Advantages/disadvantages of double-
• Advantages
– Easy to obtain counter-current flow
– Can handle high pressure
– Modular construction
– Easy to maintain and repair
– Many suppliers
• Disadvantage
– Become expensive for large duties (above

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Scope of double pipe
• Maximum pressure
– 300 bar(abs) (4500 psia) on shell side
– 1400 bar(abs) (21000 psia) on tubeside
• Temperature range
– -100 to 600oC (-150 to 1100oF)
– possibly wider with special materials
• Fluid limitations
– Few since can be built of many metals
• Maximum ε = 0.9
• Minimum ∆T = 5 K
© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
It should be noted that the ranges and limits quoted above are a guide as to what is
normal today. This limits are being extended. Also, with care in design and with
specialist manufacture, it is possible to extend the limits, although this may be at
additional cost.
Shell and tube

• Size per unit 100 - 10000 ft2 (10 - 1000 m2)

• Easy to build multiple units
• Made of carbon steel where possible

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Lecturer’s Guide
Advantages/disadvantages of S&T
• Advantages
– Extremely flexible and robust design
– Easy to maintain and repair
– Can be designed to be dismantled for cleaning
– Very many suppliers world-wide
• Disadvantages
– Require large plot (footprint) area - often need
extra space to remove the bundle
– Plate may be cheaper for pressure below 16 bar
(240 psia) and temps. below 200oC (400oF)
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Lecturer’s Guide
Scope of shell and tube
Essentially the same as a double pipe

• Maximum pressure
– 300 bar(abs) (4500 psia) on shell side
– 1400 bar(abs) (21000 psia) on tubeside
• Temperature range
– -100 to 600oC (-150 to 1100oF)
– possibly wider with special materials
• Fluid limitations
– Few since can be built of many metals
• Maximum ε = 0.9 (less with multipass)
• Minimum ∆T = 5 K
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Lecturer’s Guide
Plate and frame
• Plates pressed from stainless
steel or higher grade material
– titanium
– incoloy
– hastalloy
• Gaskets are the weak point.
Made of
– nitrile rubber
– hypalon
– viton
– neoprene
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Lecturer’s Guide
Advantages of plate and frame
• High heat transfer - turbulence on both sides
• High thermal effectiveness - 0.9 - 0.95 possible
• Low ∆T - down to 1K
• Compact - compared with a S&T
• Cost - low because plates are thin
• Accessibility - can easily be opened up for inspection
and cleaning
• Flexibility - Extra plates can be added
• Short retention time with low liquid inventory hence
good for heat sensitive or expensive liquids
• Less fouling - low r values often possible
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Lecturer’s Guide
Disadvantages of plate & frame
• Pressure - maximum value limited by the sealing
of the gaskets and the construction of the frame.
• Temperature - limited by the gasket material.
• Capacity - limited by the size of the ports
• Block easily when solids in suspension unless
special wide gap plates are used
• Corrosion - Plates good but the gaskets may not be
suitable for organic solvents
• Leakage - Gaskets always increase the risk
• Fire resistance - Cannot withstand prolonged fire
(usually not considered for refinery duties)
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Lecturer’s Guide
Scope of plate-frame
• Maximum pressure
– 25 bar (abs) normal (375 psia)
– 40 bar (abs) with special designs (600 psia)
• Temperature range
– -25 to +1750C normal (-13 to +3500F)
– -40 t0 +2000C special (-40 to +3900F)
• Fluid limitations
– Mainly limited by gasket
• Maximum ε = 0.95
• Minimum ∆T = 1 K
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Lecturer’s Guide
Welded plates
• Wide variety of proprietary types each with one or
two manufactures
• Overcomes the gasket problem but then cannot be
opened up
• Pairs of plates can be welded and stacked in
conventional frame
• Conventional plate and frame types with all-
welded (using lasers) construction have been
• Many other proprietary types have been developed
• Tend to be used in niche markets as replacement
to shell-and-tube
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Lecturer’s Guide
Air-cooled exchangers

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Lecturer’s Guide
Inset figure is of an induced draught ACHE whereas a forced draught type was
shown in the last lecture. Induced draught tends to give better air-flow distribution.
However, the fan is working in hotter air and is less efficient. Furthermore, access
and maintenance are more difficult with induced draught.
Advantages of ACHEs
• Air is always available
• Maintenance costs normally less than for water
cooled systems
• In the event of power failure they can still transfer
some heat due to natural convection
• The mechanical design is normally simpler due to
the pressure on the air side always being closer to
• The fouling of the air side of can normally be

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Disadvantages of ACHEs
• Noise - low noise fans are reducing this
problem but at the cost of fan efficiency and
hence higher energy costs
• May need special features for cold weather
• Cannot cool to the same low temperature as
cooling tower

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
The evaporative cooling in a cooling tower produces cooler water
Scope of Air Cooled Exchangers
• Maximum pressure - tube(process) side:
500 bar (7500psia)
• Maximum temperature: 600oC (1100o F)
• Fluids: subject to tube materials
• Size per unit: 5 - 350m2 (50 - 3500ft2 ) per
bundle (based on bare tube)

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Plate Fin Exchangers
• Formed by vacuum brazing
aluminium plates separated
by sheets of finning
• Noted for small size and
weight. Typically, 500
m2/m3 of volume but can
be 1800 m2/m3
• Main use in cryogenic
applications (air
• Also in stainless steel
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Lecturer’s Guide
As a rough guide, a plate fin would be a fifth the size of a shell and tube for the
same duty. Of course, a shell and tube exchanger is often not suitable for many
plate-fin applications involving many streams and small temperature differences.
Scope of plate-fin exchanger
• Max. Pressure 90 bar (size dependent)
• Temperatures -200 to 150oC in Al
Up to 600 with stainless
• Fluids Limited by material
• Duties Single and two phase
• Flow configuration Cross flow, Counter flow
• Multistream Up to 12 streams (7 normal)
• Low ∆T Down to 0.1oC
• Maximum ∆T 50oC typical
• High ε Up to 0.98
Important to use only with clean fluids
© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
The standards of ALPEMA (Brazed Aluminium Plate-fin Exchanger Manufacturers
Association) may be downloaded free of charge from the ALPEMA web site -
Printed Circuit Exchanger
• Very compact
• Very strong construction
from diffusion welding
• Small channels (typically
1 - 2 mm mean hydraulic
• Can be made in stainless
steel, nickel (and alloys),
copper (and alloys) and

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Scope of PCHE
• Maximum Pressure 1000bar (difference 200bar)
• Temperature -200 to +800oC for stainless
steel but depends on metal
• Fluids Wide range
but must be low fouling
• Normal Size 1 to 1000m2
• Flow configuration Crossflow or counterflow
• Effectiveness ε up to 0.98
• Low ∆T Yes
• Thermal cycling Has caused problems

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
• Which exchanger types can be used for
condensing organic vapour at -60oC and 60
bar by boiling organic at -100oC and 70 bar?
• Would you modify your choice if the
boiling stream were subject to fouling
requiring mechanical cleaning?

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
The exchangers which can handle the pressure and temperature are

Double pipe
Shell-and-tube (with special material)
Some welded plate designs could be investigated

Fouling would rule out plate-fin and some welded plate designs.
Heat exchanger costing - “fine filter”
• Full cost made up of
– Capital cost
– Installation cost
– Operating cost
• The cost estimation method given here is based
only on capital cost - which is the way it is often
• Note: installation costs can be as high as capital
cost except for compact exchangers
• Installation cost considerations can predominate
on offshore plant
© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
• The cost estimate method given here is for
the preliminary plant design stage - scoping
• Note that we are trying to estimate the cost
of an exchanger before we have designed it
• Full design and cost would be done later

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Quick sizing of heat exchangers

∆Tb ∆Ta

We estimate the area from

A =
Where U∆T

∆T = FT ∆Tlm

∆Ta − ∆Tb
∆Tlm =
ln(∆Ta / ∆Tb )
© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
FT correction factor
• This correction accounts for the two streams not
following pure counter-current flow
• At the estimation stage, we do not know the detailed
flow/pass arrangement so we use
– FT = 1.0 for counter flow which includes most compact and
– FT = 0.7 for pure cross flow which includes air-cooled and
other types when operated in pure cross flow (e.g. shell-and-
– FT = 0.9 for multi-pass
– FT = 1.0 if one stream is isothermal (typically boiling and

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Using an FT of 0.9 for multipass exchangers assumes that the designer is going to
avoid having a value less than 0.8. It cannot be higher than 1.0 so 0.9 seems a
reasonable average within the accuracy of these estimates.
Estimating U
• This may be estimated for a given exchanger type
using the tables from ESDU (given below)
• These tables give U values as a function of Q/∆T
(the significance of this group will become clear
• Example: high pressure gas cooled by treated
cooling water in a shell-and-tube, where
Q/∆T = 30 000 W/K
gives U = 600 W/m2K
• This includes typical fouling resistances

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
The tables are included in the Lecturer Pack with the required table entry circled.

It is worth also noting the the C value of 0.4 at this stage - the significance will
become clear later.
Estimating cost
• This has often been done by multiplying the
calculated area, A, by a “cost per unit area”
• But, when comparing exchangers, U and A
vary widely from type to type. It is also
difficult to define A if there is a complicated
extended surface.
• Hence, ESDU give tables of C values where
C is the “cost per UA” - using 1992 prices
• Note, from our basic heat transfer equation
UA = Q / ∆T
© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
The costs were obtained from manufacturers who looked a the typical costs of
exchangers built for the different applications
• ESDU gives tables for a range of heat
exchanger types but we can only include
here those for shell-and-tube and plate-and-
• Full data Item 92013 is available from
ESDU International plc
27 Corsham Street
London N1 6UA
Tel 0171 490 5151 Fax 0171 490 2701
© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Steps in calculation
• Calculate ∆Tln and hence estimate ∆T
• Determine Q/∆T
• Look up C value from table
– To determine C at intermediate Q/∆T, use logarithmic
interpolation - see next slide
• Calculate exchanger cost from - Cost = C(Q/∆T)
• Taking the last shell-and-tube example, C = 0.4.
Hence, Cost = £ 0.4 X 30 000 = £12 000
• Make sure that you take account of footnotes in

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Logarithmic interpolation

ln(V1) ln(V) ln(V2)

Where the Vs are the values of Q/∆ T. V1 and V2
are the values either side of the required value V
 ln(C1 / C2 )ln(V / V1 )
C = expln(C1 ) + 
 ln(V1 / V2 ) 

© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
In the example given previously, the Q / ∆T value happens to be in the table.
Usually, however, you must interpolate between entries in the table. This is done
effectively by plotting on log-log paper and doing a linear interpolation. The slide
gives the formula for this.
• Heat Exchanger Advisor
• Helps guide you through the selection
• Does the coarse and fine filter steps in one
and provides extensive help text


© Hyprotech 2002

Lecturer’s Guide
Although, HEAd is based on the ESDU item, changes have been made in
consultation with HTFS Members.