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5.

HEAT EXCHANGERS

1 INTRODUCTION:
Heat Transfer:
Energy in the form of heat is an essential part of oil and gas processing. Efficient operation
may depend on transferring heat from one place to another. Heat energy can be transferred
between fluids (gases and liquids) whenever their temperatures are different. The direction of
transfer is always from the hotter fluid to the colder fluid. There are basically four benefits for
transferring heat in the petroleum industry: to increase process efficiency, to reduce
maintenance, to conserve energy, and to provide employee safety.
MAIN FACTORS AFFECTING HEAT TRANSFER:
Transfer of heat between fluids is affected by the following factors:
Type of Material:

Some materials transfer heat better than others, e.g., metals are
better conductors than non-metals.

Thickness of Material:

The thinner a material, the faster heat will transfer.

Surface Area:

The greater the contact surface area, the more heat transfer
takes place.

Type of Fluids:

Some fluids transfer heat better than others, e.g., liquids are
better than gases.

Gravity of Fluids:

The thinner a fluid, the faster heat will transfer.

Flow Rate of Fluids:

The slower the flow rate, the more heat transfer takes place.

Turbulence of Fluids:

The greater the turbulence, the better heat will transfer.

Temperature Difference:

The greater the difference in fluid temperature, the faster heat


will transfer.

Contamination:

Contaminants in a fluid or on the walls of a heat exchanger will


reduce heat transfer.

2 FUNCTIONS OF HEAT TRANSFER EQUIPMENT:


The term "heat exchanger" is commonly used to describe different types of equipment used in
heat transfer service. Functions of heat transfer equipment common to the petroleum industry
are:
Cooler:

Coolers reduce the temperature of liquid or gas using water or air to remove
heat.

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Heater:

Heaters increase the temperature of a liquid or gas by adding heat using


condensing steam, hot oil, etc.

Condenser:

Condensers remove heat from gas, changing it to a liquid.

Vaporizer:

Vaporizers add heat to a liquid, changing it to a gas.

Reboiler:

Reboilers provide heat to a liquid in the bottom of a distillation tower. The


heat may be supplied by either steam or a hot process stream.

Chiller:

Chillers cool a liquid or gas using a refrigerant instead of water.

Exchanger:

Exchangers perform basically two functions. They can heat a cold process
stream by using a hot process fluid, or they can cool a hot process stream by
using a cold process fluid.

Types of Heat Exchangers:


There are many different types of heat exchangers. All heat exchangers are used to transfer
heat from one fluid to another. Heat is transferred through the walls of tubes, pipes, or plates
within the heat exchanger, keeping the two fluids from coming in direct contact with each
other. The most common types found in the petroleum industry are: shell and tube, double
pipe, plate, and aerial coolers.
Shell and Tube:
Shell and tube heat exchangers are some of the most widely used in the petroleum industry.
These heat exchangers consist of a bundle of tubes encased in a larger "pipe" or shell.
Double Pipe:
Double pipe heat exchangers consist of a smaller diameter pipe inserted inside a larger
diameter pipe. These heat exchangers are well suited for high pressure applications.
Plate:
Plate heat exchangers consist of a series of plates separated by gaskets. These heat
exchangers are versatile because the contact surface area can be changed by adding or
removing plates. However, their service may be limited by pressure ratings.
Aerial Cooler:
Aerial coolers consist of a series of tubes containing a hot process fluid exposed to a stream of
air moving across the tubes. A motor-driven fan is used to create the air movement. Aerial
cooler usage has increased in recent years due to increased costs of water and concerns over
water pollution.

3 HEAT EXCHANGER OPERATION:

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Heat transfer in heat exchangers depends on the difference in temperature between the two
fluids. The greater the temperature difference, the more heat transferred. Two other factors
that affect heat transfer are: flow path and tube arrangement. These two factors determine the
length of time, amount of contact surface area and turbulence between the two fluids. The
longer the two fluids are in contact and the greater the area of contact, the more heat will be
transferred.

Flow Path:
Fluids flowing through a heat exchanger can take one or a combination of these paths: parallel
flow, counterflow, or cross-flow.
Parallel Flow:
In parallel flow, fluid flowing inside the tubes flows in the same direction as the fluid flowing
outside the tubes. This flow pattern yields the least amount of heat transfer because it does
not maintain a high temperature difference between the fluids. Suppose the hotter fluid is
flowing inside the tubes and the colder fluid outside the tubes. At the inlets the temperature
difference is the greatest, but at the outlets the colder fluid has absorbed enough heat from the
hotter fluid that the temperature difference is relatively small. Therefore, heat transfer at the
outlets drops off considerably.

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Counterflow:
In counterflow, sometimes called reverse flow, fluid inside the tubes flows in one direction
while the fluid outside the tubes flows in the opposite direction. This flow pattern yields the
most heat transfer because temperature difference remains relatively high all the way through
the heat exchanger.

Suppose the hotter fluid is flowing inside the tubes and the colder fluid outside the tubes.
Although the colder fluid picks up heat along its path, it will exit the heat exchanger at the
point where the hotter fluid is entering at its highest temperature. At the point where the
hotter fluid has been cooled and is exiting the heat exchanger, the colder fluid is entering at its
lowest temperature. Therefore, the temperature difference between the fluids remains higher
throughout the heat exchanger.
Cross-Flow:
In cross-flow, fluid outside the tubes flows at right angles to fluid inside the tubes. This flow
pattern creates more turbulence in the fluid outside the tubes which increases the amount of
heat transfer. Cross-flow is commonly used in conjunction with parallel flow and/or
counterflow fluid paths.

Tube Arrangement:
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Heat exchangers are built so fluids will have one pass, two passes, or multiple passes through
the exchanger, depending on the arrangement of the tubes. They may also have a combination
of flow paths.
The tubes in heat exchangers have either straight tube arrangements or U-tube arrangements.
In straight tube heat exchangers, fluid enters one end of the tubes, flows straight through and
exits the other end. This is called a single pass heat exchanger
In U-tube heat exchangers, fluid enters one end of the tubes and flows to the other end.
However, instead of exiting, the tubes bend back in the shape of a U. Fluid flows around the
bend and back to the first end, then exits the heat exchanger. This is called a double pass heat
exchanger
Heat exchangers can also be designed for multiple passes. Tubes are built to change the
direction of flow through the heat exchanger several times before the fluid exits. The more
passes between the fluids, the more heat can be transferred.

Double Pipe:
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The simplest heat exchanger is the double pipe. It consists of one pipe inserted within
another pipe and then secured at each end by either welding or with a packed stuffing box.
One fluid flows inside the inner pipe while the other fluid flows inside the outer pipe. These
fluids may flow in the same direction (parallel flow) or in opposite directions (counterflow).
Double pipe heat exchangers are commonly used for counterflow service but can be used for
parallel flow equally as well. They can have straight tube arrangements as in heat exchangers
for heater transfers or U-tube arrangements as in double pipe coils used for gas plant
applications.
These heat exchangers are well suited for high pressure service because their small diameters
and cylindrical shape require minimum wall thickness. Some applications may require fins on
the outside wall of the inner pipe to increase contact surface area.
Plate:
Plate heat exchangers are made up of a series of plates separated by gaskets. The
plates provide space between them for fluids to flow. The gaskets are set in channels around
each plate which directs and contains fluid flow. Ports for inlet and outlet of both fluids are
stamped into the corners of each plate. When aligned these ports form four distribution
headers through the plates. Hot process fluid flows through every other plate, and cold
process fluid flows through the other plates. Distribution of hot and cold fluids to alternating
plates is achieved by the gaskets around each port. If the fluid is to flow through a plate, the
gasket is removed from around the port. If the fluid is to bypass a plate and flow to the next
plate, the gasket is left intact. It is very important for the gaskets to be made of a material that
is compatible with the process fluids or leaks may develop between plates.

Shell and Tube:

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Shell and tube heat exchangers consist of a bundle of heat transfer tubes encased in a
larger "pipe" or shell. The main parts of these heat exchangers are: the shell, tubes,
tubesheets, baffles, and heads. All components are usually constructed of steel; however,
corrosion-resistant alloys are used for certain applications.
Shell:
The shell is the outer case which contains the tube bundle, tubesheets, and baffles. The space
between the shell and tubes contains the shell-side fluid.
Tubes:
Tubes are small diameter pipes located inside the shell and attached to the tubesheets. They
are arranged in either square or triangular patterns. The triangular pattern provides more
turbulence and better heat transfer on the outside of the tubes; however, the square pattern
provides clear lanes for cleaning the outside surfaces of the tubes. Process fluid flowing
through the tubes is called the tube-side fluid.
Tubesheets:
Tubesheets are located at both ends of the heat exchanger. They secure the tubes and separate
shell-side and tube-side fluids. Tubesheets can be fastened to the shell (fixed) or not fastened
to the shell (floating) which allows the tube bundle to be removed for cleaning.

1-Pass Shell, 2-Pass Tube Exchanger


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Baffles:
Baffles are plates attached to the tubes causing the shell-side fluid to flow at right angles
across the tubes. This flow pattern increases turbulence of the shell-side fluid which
results in more heat transfer.
Heads:
Heads are located on both ends of the shell and contain the inlet and outlet nozzles. Based on
their design, heads may be called bonnets or channels.
As previously mentioned, shell and tube heat exchangers consist of a bundle of tubes encased
in a larger pipe or shell. The tubes carry one of the process fluids while the shell carries the
other. There are several variations to the basic design which allow for single or multiple
passes of both the tube-side and shell-side fluids. As the design becomes more complex, heat
transfer capabilities increase but so does the cost. Shell and tube heat exchangers are used in
conjunction with such processes as amine sweetening and propane refrigeration.
No.
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Name
Stationary Head Flange
Channel Cover
Stationary head Nozzle
Stationary Tube Sheet
Tubes
Shell
Shell cover
Shell Nozzle
Shell cover flange
Expansion Joint
Packing Box Flange
packing

No.
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Name
Tie Rod
Transverse baffles or support plates
Impingement Baffle
Longitudinal Baffle
Pass partition
Vent connection
Drain connection
Instrument connection
Support Saddle
Lifting Lug
Support bracket
Liquid level connection

Aerial Coolers:
Aerial coolers are heat exchangers composed of a series of tubes, containing a hot process
fluid exposed to air moving across the tubes. The tubes usually have fins on their outer walls
to increase contact surface area. A chamber, called the plenum, directs air across the tubes by
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means of a motor-driven fan. The movement of air across the tubes is referred to as draft.
There are two types of draft: forced draft and induced draft.

Forced-draft aerial coolers have the fan mounted so that air is blown or pushed across the
tubes. The tubes are designed for at least two passes of the hot fluid through the tubes before
leaving the heat exchanger. Many draft coolers have six to eight passes.

Induced-draft aerial coolers have the fan mounted to draw or pull the air across the
tubes instead of pushing it. For certain service, induced-draft is more desirable than forceddraft because it reduces the chance for warm exhaust air being drawn across the tubes.
Typical applications for aerial coolers include: removing heat from compressor cooling water,
cooling compressor discharge or inter-stage cooling, and cooling compressor lubricating oil.
Bay : A bay is defined as one or more tube bundles, served by
two or more fans, complete with structure and other attendant
equipment.

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Unit : A unit is defined as one or more tube bundles, in one or


more bays, for an individual service//e.
Bank : A bank is defined as one or more bays, including one or
more units, arranged in a continuous structure.
CODES AND STANDARDS:Following codes and standards are generally referred for inspection of Air cooled exchangers:o

ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel code, Section VIII, Div 1

API 661 ( Air cooled heat exchangers for general refinery service )

OISD 134 ( Inspection of Heat Exchangers )

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