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A shell and tube heat exchanger is used to cool hot water with cold water.

Hot water enters through the


tube side of a heat exchanger with a mass flow rate 0.03 kg/s and 80°C to be cooled to 30°C. Cold water
in the shell side flows with a mass flow rate of 0.06 kg/s at a temperature of 20°C. Determine the outlet
temperatures of the cold water. Pressure at both sides 1 atm

Solution

energy balance equation:


Q =m C ΔT
HOW TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER
OF SHELL PASSES IN SHELL AND TUBE
HEAT EXCHANGERS
WeBBusterZ | March 6, 2015 | Heat Exchangers | No Comments
This short articles describes how to find how many shells needed in series that would be sufficient to
perform the duty required.

Contents [hide]
 1 How to I know if I need more than one shell?
 2 How to determine the number of shell passes?
o 2.1 References:
HOW TO I KNOW IF I NEED MORE THAN ONE SHELL?
To answer this let’s assume the following parameters;

Th,in – Inlet Temperature of the Hot Fluid


Th,out – Outlet Temperature of the Hot Fluid

tc,in – Inlet Temperature of the Cold Fluid


tc,out – Outlet Temperature of the Cold Fluid

First check if the limitations below are approached.


2 Th,out ≥ tc,in + tc,out (if the Hot fluid on the Shell side)

2 tc,out ≤ Th,in + Th,out (if the Cold fluid on the Shell side)
If the limits are approached then you will need to use multiple shells in series

HOW TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF SHELL PASSES?


Plot the terminal temperatures of the Hot and Cold streams on a graph paper. Your X-Axis should
represent the Duty and your Y-Axis should represent the Temperature. (see figure below), Assuming
the red line is linking the shell side hot terminal temperatures and the blue line is linking the tube
side terminal temperatures.

Plot your terminal temperatures on the chart, then draw a horizontal lines as shown in the figure
below
Number of shell passes

Starting with the cold fluid outlet temperature, a horizontal line is laid off until it intercepts the hot fluid
line. From that point, a vertical line is drawn to the cold fluid temperature.

The number of shells in series is equal to the number of horizontal lines that is clearly sufficient to
perform the duty. The process is repeated until a vertical line intercepts the cold fluid operating line
at or below the cold fluid inlet temperature.

So the number of horizontal lines represented in the example above indicates the number of Shells
required in series.

Hope this short article is helpful in identifying this issue during design of shell and tube heat
exchangers.

REFERENCES:
Kuppan Thulukkanam, Heat Exchanger Design Handbook, Second Edition, 2013, CRC Press

Keywords: number of shell passes, number of shells, shell passes


Example 6.3: Multicomponent Distillation Column
In 2000 kmol/h of saturated liquid is feed to a distillation column at atmospheric pressure. The feed
stream composition mole fractions are 0.056 n-propane, 0.321 n-butane, 0.482 n-pentane, and 0.141 n-
hexane. The mixture is to be separated in a distillation column. The column has a total condenser and a
partial reboiler, the reflux ratio is 3.5, a fractional recovery of 99.4% of n-butane is desired in the
distillate and 99.7% of n-pentane in the bottom stream. Calculate flow rate of distillate and bottom
products. Peng–Robinson

Feed stream inlet stage: 6


• Total number of trays: 11
• Condenser and reboiler pressure: 1 atm
• Reflux ratio: 3.5
• Distillate liquid rate: 743 kmol/h

The fractional recovery of n-butane in distillate:

absorber
A gas absorber is used to remove 90% of the SO2 from a gas stream with pure
water. The stream mass flow rate is 103 kg/min. The gas stream contains 3% SO2
by volume. The minimum liquid flow rate was 2450 kg/min. The temperature is
293 K and the pressure is 101.32 kPa. The gas velocity should be no greater than
70% of the flooding velocity, and the randomly packed material is 2 in. Ceramic
Intalox Saddles. The liquid mass flow rate is 1.5 times the minimum liquid mass
flow rate. Determine the packed-column diameter. 3675