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Confidential Marketing Guide

Heat Exchanger Options

CenTraVac and Duplex Centrifugal Chillers


May 2006


This confidential marketing guide was developed to explain many of the heat
exchanger selections, options and specials available for heat exchangers on
CenTraVac and Duplex centrifugal chillers.
Please note that not all options are available on all chiller configurations. Contact
CenTraVac product support for approvals and special manufacturing instructions
on all selections that are not available as standard in the ordering system.
Many of the options pertain to cleanability and maintenance, so a very brief
discussion of these items is included. Please consult the service manuals for
more information.
Decisions about heat exchangers are solely the responsibility of the purchaser.
This document and its information should not be considered as an endorsement
of any option for a specific installation. Rather, the information here and contact
with Trane engineering can assist in determining an acceptable chiller

Heresite is a registered trademark of Heresite-Saekaphen, Inc.

2006 American Standard

All rights reserved


Heat Exchanger Options for

CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers
Heat exchanger selection is a complicated decision that at the most basic level
balances chiller efficiency versus cost. The selection program optimizes for the
lowest cost heat exchanger at any desired performance (efficiency) level. A more
sophisticated analysis with the pressure drop filter can refine the selection to
meet pressure drop requirements. Other concerns, such as corrosion resistance,
tube longevity, and cleanability vary with the application, and can be
accommodated by standard and special tube selections.
The following discussion should help you discuss the heat exchanger selection
and water quality concerns with your customer. This document is confidential
and may not be shared outside the company.

Trade-offs Between Efficiency, Cost and Pressure Drop

Why use enhanced tubes?
Enhanced tubes have superior heat transfer, which translates into better
efficiency and lower chiller energy consumption. Enhancements provide two
benefits: more surface where heat can be transferred from one side of the tube to
the other and more turbulence. Enhancements are optimized for the refrigerant
being used and for the application (boiling or condensing). Several different
types of enhancements are available, as explained on page 11.

What tube diameter?

Two outside diameter tubes are used in Trane chillers: 1 inch and 3/4 inch. The
diameter affects the number of tubes that will be used in a chiller. Depending on
the specified chiller efficiency and any pressure drop limitations, the most cost
effective selection could use 1" tubes in the evaporator/condenser or 3/4 tubes
in the evaporator/condenser, or 1" tubes in one heat exchanger and 3/4 tubes in
the other heat exchanger. These choices are optimized if you leave the tube fields
blank in the selection program.

What shell length?

CenTraVac chillers are highly customized, and different shell lengths are
available. Shells can be combined with a number of different compressors,
dramatically increasing the number of combinations available. CTV-SLB007-EN
lists the available evaporator, condenser, compressor and tube bundle
combinations. For a given tonnage, longer shells usually mean higher efficiency,
shorter shells lower the cost. It is also possible to use longer shells to extend the
capacity range of a given compressor. The selection program optimizes these
choices if you leave the shell and bundle fields blank.

CTV-SLM015-EN Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Tube Corrosion-resistance and Longevity

What tube thickness?
Thicker tubes provide more corrosion resistance, but decrease heat transfer
efficiency. Thinner tubes cost less and have slightly better initial efficiency, but
offer less corrosion resistance. The critical thickness is where the tube is the
thinnest (in the finned section), not in the area of the tube sheets, where all tubes
are between 0.05 and 0.06 inches thick. For evaporators, Trane offers three tubewall thickness choices: 0.025, 0.028, and 0.035 inches. For condensers, Trane
offers 0.028 and 0.035 inch tube-wall thickness choices. The most common choice
for both evaporators and condensers is 0.028 inch tube-walls.
Competitors will offer 0.025 inch thick condenser tube-walls. This will improve
the unit efficiency, but decrease corrosion resistance. Trane will not offer these
tubes for condensers.

What method of tube support?

Tube support sheets are welded into the evaporator and condenser shells at
intervals throughout the length of the shell. The tubes must be held at the tube
support sheets to stop the tubes from vibrating. Trane offers two styles of tube
supports: skip fin for Duplex and tube clips for CenTraVac. Both have been shown
to be reliable through many years of operation.

unenhanced section

Skip-fin tube supports

Skip-fin refers to the sections of tube that are skipped during the enhancement
process. This keeps the tubes thicker at these sections, corresponding to the
locations of the tube supports. Once the tubes are installed, they are manually
rolled (expanded) into the tube supports at these locations, providing a snug fit
and eliminating fretting caused by vibration.

tube support
enhanced section

Tube clips
tube clip

tube support
enhanced section

Tube clips increase the efficiency of the chiller by increasing the surface area.
Tube clips extend past the tube supports, which are now thinner because of the
support provided by the clips. No fretting tube failures will occur with tube clips.
This is because the tube can expand and contract over the entire shell length,
whereas skip-fin designs lock the tubes at the expanded areas.

What material?
Copper tubes are used for most Trane chillers being sold today. Copper is a
highly conductive metal, meaning it has excellent properties for heat transfer and
provides cost effective chiller efficiency. Based on the application, some

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers CTV-SLM015-EN

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

customers prefer to specify a different material. Condensers are more likely to

use special tube material than evaporators. This is because the evaporator is
applied in a closed system, whereas the condenser is often exposed to open
cooling towers. For systems with open cooling towers, proper on-site tower
maintenance and water quality control can eliminate the need and expense of
specialty tubes.
When condensers are in direct contact with poor quality water, corrosion is often
a concern and special tube materials are available. Trane offers cupro-nickel
tubes and titanium tubes. It is possible to have the tube sheets clad with the
same material as the tubes. Sacrificial anodes are also available, as are coatings
for the waterboxes and tube sheets. For brackish or salt water, titanium tubes
with titanium clad tube sheets and special coated water boxes must be used
where the brackish or salt water is used as the condenser fluid. Many customers
with brackish or salt water prefer to use intermediate heat exchangers to avoid
sending corrosive water directly into their chiller. In extremely corrosive
applications, both intermediate heat exchangers and specialty tubes are used
Other special tube
materials may be
available. Contact La
Crosse to discuss the
job requirements.

Table 1.

Summary of tube material abbreviations


Copper for lowest cost and highest efficiency

CuNi 90/10

90% Copper and 10% Nickel for better corrosion resistance


Titanium for excellent corrosion resistance (required for brackish or salt water)

Water Guidelines for Trane Equipment

Trane is frequently called upon to comment on the suitability of water for use in
our units from job sites around the world. This is a task we approach with great
caution because of the dramatic impact water chemistry has on unit performance
and reliability and because water chemistry is such a complex topic. Normally we
take a very conservative view and err on the side of caution.
The questions that need to be answered relative to the water and its interaction
with the unit are:

Is the water corrosive?

2. Is the water scale forming?

3. Can the water be treated to make it less corrosive or less likely to form scale?

Is The Water Corrosive or Scale Forming?

The first three issues that determine the corrosion and scale-forming potential of
the water are pH, chloride content and sulfate content. Values should be as




125 mg/l (or ppm) maximum


35 mg/l (or ppm) maximum

CTV-SLM015-EN Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

pH values
If the pH of the water is greater than 9.0 it is likely to be scale forming. Heavy
scale reduces heat transfer and may lead to corrosion if the scale flakes off in
some regions.
If the pH is less than 7.5 the water tends to be corrosive to copper and copper
alloys. That water with a pH value 7.5 is corrosive often surprises people because
they understand that a pH of 7.0 is neutral and they believe water needs to be
acidic to be corrosive. To a large extent, copper tubing resists aqueous corrosion
by forming a thin, tenacious layer of copper oxide on the water side surface and
this copper oxide film is what actually protects the copper from aqueous
corrosion. For this oxide film to provide good coverage of the surface, the pH of
the water needs to be above 7.5. With water less than 7.5 pH, the oxide film can be
dissolved in some areas and precipitate pitting corrosion that can locally
penetrate the tube wall. Pitting attack is driven by localized galvanic cells set up in
areas without the oxide film that are adjacent to areas with the oxide film.

Chloride and sulfate content

Waters with chloride contents greater than 125 mg/l or with sulfate greater than
35 mg/l can be corrosive to copper and copper alloys because these elements are
able to penetrate the oxide film and attack the copper. There are many areas in
the world where waters exceeding these limits are used successfully in HVAC
applications. In coastal areas of the southeastern US, for example, it would be
rare to see chloride contents less than 300 mg/l and in other areas, Oklahoma, for
example, well waters with over 100 mg/l sulfate are common. Our rules of
thumb are simply guidelines that indicate to us that we should consider the
potential for problems and investigate the situation thoroughly.

Other factors
Beyond pH, chloride and sulfate we look at water conductivity, dissolved and
undissolved solids and alkalinity. With these items it gets more difficult to apply
rules of thumb because the interaction of these items with each other as well as
with pH, etc., gets more and more complex. Hence, we are reluctant to publish
acceptable or unacceptable values for these items.
Trane can evaluate water samples to help assess the suitability of water for use in
our chillers or other Trane equipment.

Can The Water Be Treated?

The use of untreated or improperly treated water in chillers may result in scaling,
erosion, corrosion, and algae or slime buildup. It is recommended that the
services of a qualified water treatment specialist be engaged to determine what
treatment, if any, is advisable. Trane assumes no responsibility for the results of
using untreated or improperly treated water.

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers CTV-SLM015-EN

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Optional Heat Exchanger Protection Upgrades

Some applications may not be able to provide acceptable water to the chiller.
Besides upgraded tube material as previously discussed, the following waterbox
selections are available as specials.
Sacrificial Anodes
Anodes are made of an easily corroded metal such as zinc,
and two to four are installed per waterbox. They can reduce
or eliminate galvanic corrosion. Anodes are installed on the
waterboxes, and look like bolt heads. The sacrificial part of
the anode protrudes into the waterbox and should be
replaced periodically.
Heresite Coated Waterboxes and Tubesheets
Heresite is a registered trademark of Heresite-Saekaphen, Inc. for their
protective coatings. When this special is ordered, a baked-on, phenolic coating is
applied to protect them from corrosion. Trane lab tests have shown this to be a
superior coating to the one offered by competitors. Sacrificial anodes are
recommended with this option to prevent concentrated galvanic corrosion at any
imperfections in the coating.
Clad Tube Sheets
The tubes are rolled into the tube sheet to create the seal between the water and
refrigerant portions of the chiller. Cladding the tube sheet in the same metal as
the tubes eliminates the potential for galvanic corrosion between dissimilar
metals. Cladding can be performed with stainless steel (requiring stainless steel
tubes), Copper-Nickel (Monel), or Titanium. The cladding is done by Dynamic
Metals Corporation using an explosion weld. This option is very expensive.

Maintaining Heat Exchangers

Fouling and Cleanability
All chillers will experience a degree of fouling once water begins flowing through
the tubes. Performance predictions for the chiller include a fouling factor, so that
the chiller will still perform as expected even with a certain amount of fouling.
Fouling impedes heat transfer and makes the compressor work harder to deliver
the same amount of cooling effect and reducing efficiency. Over time, proper
tube maintenance will keep the chiller operating at or near its predicted
Condenser tubes are more likely to experience fouling than evaporator tubes,
because they operate in an open water loop, and at a higher temperature more
conducive to mineral deposits and microbial growth. Proper onsite water
treatment is critical for controlling fouling in your chiller. Condensers in chillers
installed in high-fouling situations are frequently cleaned. Several chiller options
such as marine waterboxes, gantries, and brushes with baskets can make the

CTV-SLM015-EN Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

process of tube cleaning easier and less disruptive to the chiller plant operating
Evaporator tubes are infrequently or rarely cleaned, because they are part of a
closed system less likely to introduce fouling, microbial growth, or scale.
Waterbox Styles
Marine waterboxes are an option that allows the end plate of the waterbox to be
removed without disturbing the water piping connections. This allows access to
the tubes for cleaning, inspection, eddy current testing, etc.

Gantries resemble davits, and they are installed on units as an option to facilitate
swinging out the waterboxes for access to tubes for cleaning. With marine
waterboxes, only the end plate will swing out.

Brush Cleaning Systems

Clean tubes save energy (better heat transfer). A brush cleaning system can
reduce maintenance, and eliminate manual tube cleaning. Brushes and baskets
can be installed at Trane with the diverter valve to be purchased and installed
locally. They can also be installed in the field.

Tube Testing
As part of our quality system, each tube undergoes the following tests either
before or after installation in the chiller.
By the tube vendor. The tube vendor performs a pneumatic (air) pressure test at
250 psig for 5 seconds and an outside diameter eddy current test.
By Trane. After tube installation, there is a 150% design hydro (water) test. For a
150 psig waterside design pressure, the hydro test pressure would be 225 psig.
Eddy current testing. An additional, internal tube eddy current test can be done
either in the factory (baseline) or in the field. This test can indicate sections of the
heat exchanger tubes that are damaged or defective, or that have changed over
time. There is a video available from La Crosse. Corrosion pitting is easy to spot
in an eddy current test.

Monitoring Oil For Contaminants

Oil analysis can determine if excessive amounts of corrosion or contaminants
from other equipment in the same system are being introduced to the chiller.

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers CTV-SLM015-EN

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Water connections
Grooved (Victaulic) connections
80-90% of customers request Victaulic or grooved connections, because they are
easier to fit up in the field. Grooved connections are standard on all chillers. These
connections allow for piping or transitions to be clamped onto the chillers water
connections with a Victaulic coupling.

Flanged connections
Flanged water couplings reduce the chance of leaks or failures, but they may be
slightly more difficult to fit up in the field. Two types of flanged connections are
offered, depending on the shell size and type.

Cast waterbox flanges

On 320 and 500 condenser shells, the waterbox castings can be made with flanges
rather than grooved connections as an option. No other shells have this option.

Welded raised-face flanges

Welded raised-face flanges (WRFF) reduce the chance of leaks or failures. Their use
is driven by user-preference, based on past experiences, or for consistency with
other chillers already installed. WRFF are used in place of Victaulic-to-flange
adaptors. The flanges are welded onto the waterbox, with a raised inner lip,
yielding a very tight connection.

Victaulic-to-flange adaptors
The least expensive way to convert a grooved connection to a flanged connection
is with adaptors. Adaptors allow for flanged couplings but without some of the
leak tightness of welded raised-face flanges. Their use is generally due to
customers not wanting Victaulic connections, based on past experiences. ANSI CL
125 or CL 150. Specification sheets are available.

CTV-SLM015-EN Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Waterbox Construction
Waterbox construction specifications depend on the pressure of the water they
will be connected to. In normal applications, 150 psig waterboxes will suffice. In
applications like high rise buildings, the water pressure is higher, and the
waterboxes may need to be 300 psig or sometimes even 450 psig.

Cast Waterboxes
Cast waterboxes are made from grey iron.
150 psig non-marine waterboxes on:
320 and 500 size condensers are cast with either Victaulic or flange
500 and 800 size evaporators and 800 condensers are cast with Victaulic
connections, with optional vic-to-flange adapters or welded raised face flanges.

Fabricated Waterboxes
Fabricated waterboxes are made from low-carbon plate steel.

Domed construction
Domed waterboxes are not cast. They are fabricated but have a domed/rounded
shape rather than a flat end shape. Cast waterboxes have a rounded shape that
some have been calling "domed".
150 psig non-marine waterboxes on size 142, 210, and 250 evaporators and
condensers (including Duplex) feature domed construction, have Victaulic
connections as standard, and optional vic-to-flange adapters or welded raised
face flanges.

Flat-plate construction
By the end of 2006, the only 150 psig non-marine waterbox with flat-plate
construction will be the 320 evaporator.
Marine waterboxes for all size shells and 300 and 450 psig waterboxes use flatplate construction.


Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers CTV-SLM015-EN

Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers

Tube Choices
3/4" outside diameter tube, classified as a smooth bore tube, with moderate rifling on
the water side to increase efficiency with low fouling and high cleanability, and
comparable efficiency to TECU tubes. These tubes are classified as low fouling tubes,
however the competition will call this a smooth bore tube. Available for condensers
3/4" outside diameter tube, absolutely no internal enhancements, selected in a small
number of applications, usually by customer preference. Reduced chiller efficiency,
lower water pressure drop, most easily cleaned. Available for condensers only.

3/4" outside diameter titanium tubes with moderate rifling, low fouling and high
cleanability. Titanium tubes are available as a non-standard option for both the
condenser and evaporator. Expensive. Must also get titanium-clad tube sheets.

3/4" outside diameter tubes, available in three tube-wall thicknesses for evaporators
and two wall-thicknesses for condensers.

1" outside diameter tubes, available in three tube-wall thicknesses for evaporators and
two wall-thicknesses for condensers.

1" outside diameter tubes, available for evaporators and condensers. IMCU tubes
provide higher efficiency but more pressure drop than IECU, but are more cost
effective than some TECU options.

CTV-SLM015-EN Heat Exchanger Options for CenTraVac and Duplex Chillers


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office or e-mail us at

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change design and specifications without notice.