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A heat exchanger is a device used to transfer heat between a solid object and
a fluid, or between two or more fluids. The fluids may be separated by a solid wall
to prevent mixing or they may be in direct contact. The classic example of a heat
exchanger is found in an internal combustion engine in which a circulating fluid
known as engine coolant flows through radiator coils and air flows past the coils,
which cools the coolant and heats the incoming air.
Helical coil heat exchangers have been used in the nuclear industry as a method for
exchanging heat in a sodium system for large liquid metal fast breeder
reactors since the early 1970s, using an HCHE device invented by Charles E.
Boardman and John H. Germer. There are several simple methods for designing
HCHE for all types of manufacturing industries, such as using the Ramachandra K.
Patil (et al.) method from India and the Scott S. Haraburda method from the United
HCHE will be the best choice in case of following cases:
1.The main advantage of the HCHE, like that for the SHE, is its highly efficient
use of
space, especially when it’s limited and not enough straight pipe can be laid.
2.Under conditions of low flowrates (or laminar flow), such that the typical shell-
and-tube exchangers have low heat-transfer coefficients and becoming
3.When there is low pressure in one of the fluids, usually from accumulated
pressure drops in other process equipment.[20]
4.When one of the fluids has components in multiple phases (solids, liquids, and
gases), which tends to create mechanical problems during operations, such as
plugging of small-diameter tubes. Cleaning of helical coils for these multiple-phase
fluids can prove to be more difficult than its shell and tube counterpart; however
the helical coil unit would require cleaning less often
The schematic diagram shows dimensional and operating parameters of helical
coil heat exchanger.

Fig-1: Schematic of shell and helical coil


The schematic diagram of the experimental set up is as shown in Fig.2. The

experimental set up consists of a shell in which the helical coil copper tube is
placed through which hot water is made to flow with the help of a centrifugal
pump. To ensure maximum heat transfer the copper helical coil is fully immersed
in the cold water flowing through the shell, the inlet and outlet are so placed as
shown in Fig. 1.The shell is well insulated so as to avoid the heat loss to the
surrounding. The main components in the set up include centrifugal pump,
heating element, cold water storage tank and hot water storage tank. The heat
exchanger which includes the helical copper tube and insulated shell is perfectly
sealed so as to avoid the leakage of hot water flowing through tube and cold
water flowing through shell in a counter flow manner .

The water in the storage tank is heated using a heating element, as the water
reaches to a prescribed temperature. The centrifugal pump circulates the hot
water through the helical coil. The ball valves are used to control the flow rate of
hot and cold water. A calibrated rotameter was used to measure the shell side
cold water flow rate while for the tube side hot water flow rate a calibrated vane
type flow meter is used and data was recorded using a data logger system.

The inlet and outlet temperatures of hot and cold water were recorded using
calibrated LM 35 temperature sensor through the data logger system. Pressure
gauges were used to measure the pressure loss in the helical coil tube. The tube
and shell side thermo-physical properties of water
were assessed at their mean temperatures.

The use of helically coiled exchangers continues to increase.Applications
include liquid heating/cooling, steam heaters, vapor-izers, cryogenic cooling and
vent condensing. Listed below are the details for standard services in which helical
exchangers warrant consideration.

• Sample Cooling

• Analyzer Pre-cooling

• Seal Coolers

• Condensers

• Cryogenic Vaporizers

• Compressor Inter- and After-Coolers

• General Applications

There are very few limitations for the use of helically coiled heat exchangers.
Generally, a pressure limit of 10,000 psig covers the majority of applications.
Temperature limits are determined by
construction materials, as are the corrosion rates.Surface areas of 1 to 650 sq. ft.
are available, and using units inseries or parallel may extend this range

The design and thermal evaluation of study under consideration is done and has
following conclusions:

1. The design procedure adopted gives sizing and rating analysis of helical coil
heat exchanger and results are found in good agreement with the experimental

2. By increasing mass flow rate of hot water the effectiveness increases at

constant cold water mass flow rate.

3. When mass flow rate of cold water is maintained at lower value the
effectiveness is maximum but, when mass flow rates of cold water increases
effectiveness decreases correspondingly.

4.The overall heat transfer coefficient and Heat transfer rate increases with
increase in mass flow rate of hot water.

5. Also temperature of hot water at outlet increases with increase in hot water
flow rate in the tube.