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Guidelines for preparation of Process Data Sheet of

Heat Exchanger:
The purpose of this section is to guide process engineer to fill in a heat
exchanger process data sheet (PDS). While preparing a PDS different
factors are to be considered which are listed one after another in this
section. Many of the listed items are discussed mostly with respect to
shell and tube heat exchanger since it is the most widely used type,
although the same can be extended for other types as well if found as
general in nature. The PDS format can be same for different type of heat
exchangers (e.g., shell & tube, double pipe, plate and frame, spiral etc).
One specimen copy of a PDS format is attached herewith which can be
used as a standard one in absence of any specific format from the
Client. It is the overall project philosophy which decides the scope for
different parties for overall detailed design of a heat exchanger, this
needs to be understood from Principal Engineer and Project Management
before finalization of heat exchanger PDS. Please follow the engineering
units as decided in Project Design Basis. The input in PDS should be
adequate and complete in nature so that the thermal design of the
exchanger can be carried out any of the detailed engineering parties.
The purpose of preparation of a PDS is to furnish all required input to
carry out thermal design of the heat exchanger.
A) Operating parameters:
It is the responsibility of process engineer to finalize the operating
parameters for an exchanger based on Heat and Material Balance (HMB)
of the plant. Please follow operating parameters given in FEED
document/Licensor package etc. Add design margin (if any) as per design
basis/project contract etc. In case of in house simulation please follow
the Heat and Material Balance data for process conditions. . In case of
multiple operating conditions find out the controlling case in terms of

heat duty and other process conditions. Often for multiple operating
conditions thermally and hydraulically controlling conditions are
selected for heat exchanger design. For selection of thermally
controlling case the multiplication factor of U and A needs to be
compared. In selecting these conditions the Principal engineer must be
consulted and detail review must be done by experienced process
Following operating parameters are to be provided in PDS.
Flow rate
Complete Flow rates for vapor, liquid, steam, water etc to be
furnished both at inlet and outlet of the exchanger.

Weight fraction vapor

Inlet and Outlet temperature

Operating Pressure
Operating pressure is more important in case of gas service
rather than liquid. However this should be correctly defined to
make the data consistent with plant operating conditions.

Heat Duty
This should be consistent with both hot and cold fluid flow
rate and properties.

Heat Release Curve

It is the plot of heat duty, temperature and vapor fraction, it
is applicable for services where phase change occurs. In case
of single phase service this is not applicable.

B) Allowable Pressure drop (DP):

The allowable pressure drop data is compulsory input in PDS.

1) For liquid-liquid exchanger allowable DP is approximately

0.5 to 0.7 bar. If no of shells in series are more than one, it
may require to provide additional pressure drop depending
upon the optimization. For liquid more DP increases pump
power consumption. Based on system hydraulics the pressure
drop needs to be evaluated across the heat exchanger. The
operating and fixed cost to be compared in order to arrive at
optimum heat exchanger area. This exercise needs to be
carried out during system engineering. A higher pressure drop
than stated above may be required for viscous liquid.
It must be remembered that this is general requirement. Any
specific instances must be investigated thoroughly e.g., if
found that the allowable pressure drop for a particular service
posing as serious constraint for satisfactory thermal design,
higher allowable pressure drop may be provided. Hence the
pressure drop provided in PDS needs to be endorsed during
thermal design.
2) For Gas-Gas exchanger allowable DP is based on process to
process. This is normally in the range 0.1 bar to 0.5 Bar. For
Gases more DP increases compressor power consumption The
most optimum pressure drop needs to be evaluated similar to
above point 1.
3) For condensing stream the DP is negligible or approximately
0.1 bar at the most.
4) In case of Thermosyphon reboiler DP is based on available
liquid static head.
C) Allocation of fluid on shell side or tube side:

PDS should indicate which fluid in which side of the exchanger.

During thermal design of the exchanger the allocation of fluid sides
actually gets verified. Following section gives general guidelines for
allocation of side.
1) Put fouling stream in the tube side - easier to clean inside the
2) Put high pressure stream on the tube side to avoid thick,
expensive shell design.
3) When special materials are required for one stream, put that
one in the tube side to avoid expensive shell.
4) Cross flow gives higher coefficients than in plain tubes, hence
put fluid with lowest coefficient on the shell side.
5) If one stream flow rate is significantly lower than the other, it is
always advisable to put the smaller flow rate stream in tube side.
6) If no obvious benefit, try streams both ways and see which gives
best design.

D) Property for hot and cold fluids:

Fluid density, viscosity, specific heat, thermal conductivity are
compulsory to be specified in PDS. All properties to be given at inlet
and outlet of the exchanger.
1) Generally use property, Heat release curves given in
FEED/Basic Engineering package or in case of in house
simulation, use the HMB.. Some time we can derive fluid
properties from HYSYS. Proper care must be taken while
linking to HYSYS simulation file. All data needs to be verified
to ensure proper transfer of data.
2) For pure component one can use HTRI / HTFS data base.
(i.e., for steam, water, Hydrogen, Nitrogen etc.).

3) If there is phase change, heat release curve is essential to

get proper thermal design. In case of phase change please
include critical properties in the data.
4) For Reboiler and condenser by using heat release curves at
2 or 3 isobars (i.e. Heat release curve at inlet / outlet & at
mid point pressure) gives batter results. All properties must be
repeated at these points.

E) Fouling resistance:
The fouling factor needs to be mentioned in process data sheet for
hot and cold fluid. This is to be provided based on fluid type and
physical properties. Some guidelines are available in TEMA which can
be considered in case there is nothing available in FEED or Basic
Engineering package. Before finalization of fouling factors the
Principal Engineer must be consulted.
F) Material of Construction (MOC):
Both shell and tube side MOC needs to be specified in PDS. In case
both shell and tube sides are having different MOC, all main
components of the exchanger MOC need to be specified in PDS.
G) Corrosion allowance:
This is to be specified based on MOC and should be consistent with
the project design basis. For tubes no corrosion allowance is
required, however it is applicable for tube side based on MOC.
H) Design Pressure and Temperature:
It is the responsibility of the process engineer to finalize the design
pressure temperature of the exchanger based on the complete
system design. Normally for most of the projects Design Pressure
Temperature flow diagram are prepared. In absence of that the
Design Basis document needs to be followed to decide the design

pressure temperature. This needs to be consistent with the total

system of the plant where the exchanger is located. The design
conditions are calculated based on maximum operation condition of
the system, the HMB needs to be referred for such input.
While selecting design conditions please review requirement of tube
rupture protection. Proper judgment is required while deciding the
requirement as there is a trade-off between such requirement and
system design conditions. The Principal engineer needs to be
consulted for such decisions.

I) Shell and Tube Exchanger Geometry:

Selection of shell geometry needs to be finalized during thermal
design however some initial requirement can be defined in process
data sheet which can help minimizing effort during thermal design
stage. The attached figure below gives different TEMA geometrical
constructions. This selection needs to be done based on operating
conditions and type of service, physical properties of the fluid etc.
Additionally the cost factor also to be taken into account while
selecting these geometries. Please refer below table for shell and
tube exchanger selection guide and comparison between different
shell constructions. Normally in FEED document the exchanger
geometry is specified in most of the cases. Extreme care must be
taken while selecting TEMA types. In selecting or changing the
geometry in process data sheet the Principal engineer must be
There are three basic type of shell and tube heat exchangers
1) Fixed tube Sheet
It has straight tubes fixed at both ends to tube sheets, welded to
shell. Example of fixed tube sheet construction are BEM, AEL etc.
The principal advantage of fixed tube sheet exchanger is low cost,

there is no flange joints in shell side therefore no chance of leakage

of shell side fluid.
The main disadvantage of fixed tube sheet exchanger is that shell
side can not be cleaned mechanically. In case of larger temperature
difference expansion joint may be required for fixed tube sheet
2) U-Tube Exchanger
In this type of construction tubes are bent in U shapes. There is
only one tube sheet and the tube is free for expansion. The main
disadvantage of this type of exchanger is that the tube side can not
be mechanically cleaned properly.
3) Floating Head Heat exchanger
This type is having highest cost for manufacture. Example of floating
tube sheet construction are BES, AKT etc. Both shell and tube sides
can be cleaned mechanically for floating head construction.

Thermosyphon & Kettle type Reboilers:

A) General:
Reboliers need separate mention among shell and tube heat
exchangers due to its complex nature and critical service conditions.
Reboilers generate vapor to drive fractional distillation separation. In
classical fractional distillation services all the vapor to drive the
separation comes from the reboiler. (Alternate systems may use
externally generated vapor, feed preheat, or inter-reboiler systems).
Proper reboiler operation is vital to effective distillation.The most
critical element of reboiler design is the selection of the proper type
of for a service. Most reboilers are shell-and-tube exchangers.
Specific services may use other specialized designs including stab-ins,
plate-fins, spiral-plate and others.

Reboilers are similar to shell & Tube exchanger except inlet / outlet
piping and elevation is critical in reboiler as compared to simple shell
& tube exchanger.
Kettle type Reboiler: In kettle type reboiler

cold fluid is placed

shell side and extra space is provided above tube bundle to saperate
out liquid & vapor, outlet fluid contain only vapor. Bottom product
drawn off at other end of reboiler (after overflow ware). Here liquid
level is maintained above tube bundle to achieve pool boiling.
Thermosyphon reboiler: In thermosyphon reboiler cold fluid is
placed either in shell side or in tube side. Outlet fluid contain mix
phase. Thermosyphon reboiler works on pressure difference (Density
difference) and governed by liquid static head. Circulation flow
through reboiler depends on liquid static head. Hence liquid static
head is very important while designing a thermosyphon reboiler.
B) Operating parameter, pressure drop, allocation of fluid, Physical
properties etc. are similar to shell & Tube exchanger.
C) Selection of reboiler type:
Many factors influence reboiler type selection. In the end, all these
factors reduce to economics. Every plant will weigh the trade-off
between these factors differently. No one-size fits all selection
exists. Major factors include:
1) Plot space available
2) Total duty required
3) Fraction of tower liquid traffic vaporized
4) Fouling tendency
5) Temperature approach available
6) Temperature approach required
All these affect the configuration desired. The major configuration
selections include:

1) Forced versus natural circulation

2) Tube side versus shell side vaporization
3) Once-through versus process recirculation
4) Single-shell versus multiple-shell systems
5) Vertical versus horizontal orientation
6) Stab-in bundles
7) Other types
Figures 1 to 4 show common types of reboilers. Figure 1 shows two
horizontal, shell-side boiling configurations. Figure 1A is a recirculating
thermosyphon. Figure 2A is a once-through thermosyphon. Figure 2
shows vertical configurations. Figure 2C is a tube-side boiling
configuration with once through flow and Figure 2D is a shell side boiling
recirculating thermosyphon. Figure 3E shows a kettle reboiler and Figure
3F shows a forced-circulation reboiler. Figure 4G illustrates a stab-in
bundle and figure 4H shows a forced-circulation, fired heater. Table 1
includes the major factors in making an exchanger system choice.

Figure 1
Horizontal, shell-side boiling reboilers

Vertical reboilers

Figure 3
Flooded bundle reboilers

Stab-in and fired heater reboilers
Low bottoms product fraction
compared to boilup
High bottoms product fraction
compared to boilup
Low relative volatility systems
High relative volatility systems
Large exchanger size or high duty
Small exchangers
Leaks hazardous or difficult to
deal with
Exotic materials
Tight temperature approach
Solids present
Thermally unstable products
Tight plot plan
Ample plot plan
High temperatures
High heat fluxes
Low bottoms product fraction
compared to boilup
High bottoms product fraction
compared to boilup
Low relative volatility systems
High relative volatility systems
Large exchanger size or high duty

Favored types


Re circulating Kettle



Re circulating

Re circulating

Re circulating



Vertical Stab-in
Spiral-plate / Plate-fin
Kettle / Spiral-plate
Fired heaters
/Flooded bundles


Re circulating Kettle



Re circulating

Re circulating

Re circulating

Small exchangers
Vertical Stab-in
Leaks hazardous or difficult to
deal with
Exotic materials
Tight temperature approach
Spiral-plate / Plate-fin
Solids present
Kettle Spiral-plate
Thermally unstable products
Tight plot plan
Ample plot plan
High temperatures
Fired heaters

Kettle / Once

Condensers :
The design of condenser is a wide subject similar to reboilers. There are
considerable variations of services, operating condition, choice of
coolant, condensing range etc. In shell and tube heat exchanger
normally the condensation is preferred in shell side as the flow area is
more and condensate can separate from vapor easily by gravity. Most of
the times the coolant is water and hence it is preferred to place it in
tube side. In case the process fluid is corrosive it can be placed in tube
side, hence tube side condensation is also possible. Use of air as coolant
has become increasingly popular, hence air coolers are used as
condensers in many of the cases. Use of either water or air cooler
depends on the availability of water and investment required for each

Double pipe exchangers:

A) Geometry:
Double pipe exchanger is similar to shell & tube exchanger except in
Shell & tube there are multiple tubes inside shell and in Double pipe
exchanger there is only one pipe inside another bigger pipe. (i.e.
shell side fluid passes through the annulus, in double pipe exchanger)
We can achieve pure countercurrent flow in double pipe exchangers.

Double Pipe Exchanger drawing:

Multi tube Hair pin exchanger drawing:

B) Usages / Advantages:
1) If calculated area for Shell & tube exchanger is less than 20 m2,
then double pipe exchangers can be considered as an alternative,
however this is not the only basis to be followed for deciding the
double pipe heat exchanger. The overall cost factor, plot plan
service condition needs to be taken into account for deciding the
usage of double pipe exchanger.
2) Double pipe exchanger can be used as feed heater to fine tune
outlet temperature.
3) Advantages: Very simple in construction, can be disassembled for
cleaning, inspection. Double pipe exchanger can be installed on
pipe rack or along distillation column.

Plate Exchangers:
A) General:
With equipment cost rising and limited plot space, compact heat
exchangers are gaining a large portion of heat exchanger market.
Plate and frame exchange is one of the compact type exchanger
which widely used in dairy & food industries. It gives close
temperature approach. Accuratetemperature control is also possible
with PHE. There are two basic types gasketed and welded type plate
Gasket Type Plate & frame Exchangers: In this type, Series of
corrugated alloy material channel plates bonded by gaskets and
guided by longitudinal bars, then compressed by large diameter
tightening bolts between two pressure retaining cover plates. The
frame and channel plates have portholes which allow the process
fluid to enter alternating flow passages. Gasket around the periphery
of the channel plate prevents leakage to atmosphere. Some gaskets
are not suitable for all type of process fluids and higher temperature.
Different gasket materials are used for different temperature range
e.g., rubber gasket can be used up to 200C, graphite gasket can be
used up to 250C etc.
Welded Type Plate & frame Exchangers: To overcume gasket








disadvantages of welded type is that plates cant be cleaned

mechanically and having minimum ability to repair or plug damaged
channels. Chemical cleaning is possible for plate exchangers.

Air Cooled Heat Exchangers:

Air cooled heat exchangers are used to transfer heat from a process fluid
to ambient air. The process fluid is contained in heat conducting tubes.
The atmospheric air, the coolant is caused to flow perpendicular across
the tubes in order to remove heat. The choice of air cooled exchangers
should be used is essentially a question of economics including a first
cost or capital cost, operating and maintenance expenses, space
requirements and environmental considerations and involves a decision
weighing the advantages and disadvantages of cooling with air.
A typical format for air cooled heat exchanger PDS is attached along
with as specimen. This format needs to be used as standard in absence
of any specific format from client.
Process data for air cooled heat exchanger is similar to shell and tube
heat exchanger except the coolant fluid is air.
A) Operating parameter (Flow / Temperature / Pressure):
Please follow operating parameters given in FEED document/Licensor
package also add design margin (if any) as per design basis. All
process data should be provided similar to shell and tube heat
Air dry bulb temperature needs to be mentioned in PDS based on the
site ambient condition and design basis document.
Site atmospheric pressure needs to be mentioned in PDS.
Site minimum ambient temperature also needs to be mentioned in
B) Pressure drop:
1) For liquid-liquid exchanger allowable DP is approximately 0.5 bar
to 0.7 bar. For liquid more DP increases pump or upstream
equipment power consumption.

2) For Gas-Gas exchanger allowable DP is based on process to

process. This is in the range 0.1 bar to 0.5 Bar. For Gases more DP
increases compressor or upstream equipment power consumption.
3) For condensing stream DP is negligible or approximately 0.1 bar.
4) If process fluid is condensing then try to keep more no of rows for
vapor condensation and keep less no of tube rows for liquid. This
will utilize allowable pressure drop efficiently.
5) Air side pressure drop decides fan power consumption. Try to
keep pressure drop within limit so that the fan power remains
within the allowable limit.
C) Property for process fluid:
1) Generally use property / Heat release curves given by client or
specified in Feed. Some time we can derive fluid properties from
HYSYS. Proper care should be taken while linking to HYSYS
simulation file. For pure component we can use HTRI / HTFS data
base(i.e. for steam, water, Hydrogen, Nitrogen etc.).
2) If there is phase change then heat release curve is essential to get
proper design.

D) Air Cooler Type & Geometry:

There are two main types of air cooler one is forced draft & other is
induced draft. The air cooler type should be mentioned in PDS.
Induced draft.
Forced Draft Air Cooler: Fans are mounted below tube bundle.
1) Better accessibility to mechanical component.
2) Low fan power consumption since it handles ambient air.

3) Can be used for higher air outlet temperature (> than 93C)
since fans are not exposed to hot air.
1) Total exposure to rain, sun, hail.
2) Increased sensitivity to hot air circulation due to low discharge
3) Low natural draft capability on fan failure due to lack of stack
Forced draft.
Induced Draft Air Cooler: Fans are mounted above tube bundle.
1) Better process control & stability from effects of rain, hail &
2) Less possibility of hot air circulation due to higher discharge
3) Increased natural draft capability on fan failure due to
increased stack effect.
1) Poor accessibility to mechanical component as fan is mounted
on top of bundle.
2) Higher fan power consumption since it handles hot air.
3) Exit air temperature limited to 93C because of fan & blade
4) The bundle will be wider if the fan shaft is designed to
penetrate the bundle.
1) Economizer: Is a rectangular bundle of tubes that typically is
placed in a hot gas stream. This gas heats the material flowing
inside the tubes. Also typically, tubes are plain, stud-finned, or
serrated finned. Some applications mix bare tubes in the first few
rows with finned tubes further down in the bundle.

2) A-Frame Air Cooler: Is a pair of two bundles kept in a shape of

latter A. This type of air coolers are used in power generation
plant as low pressure steam dump condenser.

E) General: Air Cooler design is a complex subject because air cooler

design is more flexible than shell & tube exchanger. following are
variables which govern air cooler design
1) Tube length: Based on lay out, Based on project requirement.
The limit for tube length needs to be specified in Air Cooler
PDS. The length finalization needs to be done together with
Piping and Project.

Other type of exchangers:

A) Spiral Plate Exchangers (SHE):
1) Geometry: This type of exchangers offers high reliability and
online performance in many severely fouled services such as
slurries. The SHE is formed by rolling two strip of plate, with
welded on spacer studs upon each other into clock-spring shape.
This forms two passages. Passages are sealed off on one end of
the SHE by welding a bar to the plates; hot and cold fluid
passages are sealed off opposite ends of the SHE. A single
rectangular passage formed for each fluid, which gives very high
shear rates as compared to shell & tube type exchangers.
Removable covers are provided on each end to access and clean
the entire surface. Pure counter current flow achieved and LMTD
correction factor is essentially=1.
2) Application: The most common application that fit SHE are
B) Brazed Plate-Fin Exchanger:
1) Geometry: Brazed-aluminum-plate-fin exchangers (Cold boxes)
made up of a stack of rectangular sheets aluminum separated by a
wavy usually perforated, aluminum fin. Two ends are sealed off to
form a passage. The layers have wavey fins and sealed ends
alternating at 90 to each. Aluminum half pipe type headers are
attached to the open ends to route the fluids in to the alternating
passages. Fluid usually flows at this same 90 angle to each other.
Variations in the fin height, no of passages, length & width of the
prime sheet allows for the core exchanger to match the needs of
the intended service.

2) Application: Used in cryogenic fluid services, Air separation

plants, Refrigeration trains like in ethylene plants.
C) Spiral tube Exchangers(STE):
1) Geometry: These exchangers are typically a series of stacked
helical coiled tubes connected to manifolds, then inserted into
shell. They have many advantages like avoiding differential
expansion problem, acceleration effect of helical flow which
increased heat transfer coefficient and compactness of plate
2) Application: The common applications are tank-vent condensers,
sample coolers , pump seal coolers, instant water heaters.


Spiral Plat Exchangers (SHE)

Spiral tube Exchangers(STE)

Brazed Plate-Fin Exchanger