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Heat Exchangers Comparison

Heat exchangers comparison

The tabel below compares different heat exchangers mainly common types

Heat exchanger type Maximum pressure Temperature range Fluid limitation Normal size ranges for individual unit Special features
Air-cooled High on process side (500 bar). High temperature possible on process side (up to 600°C). Subject only to material of construction. 5 to 350 m2
(bare tube) (per bundle multiple bundles often used).
Heat rejection system. Requires fans. Tubes normally finned.
Shell and tube 300 bar (shell). 1400 bar (tube). 25 to 600°C (lower and higher with special materials). Subject only to materials of construction. 10 to 1000 m2 (per shell multiple shells can be used). Very adaptable and can be used for nearly all applications.
Brazed-plate 16 bar Up to 200°C. Suitable for liquids compatible with braze material. 1 to 10 m2 . Modular construction.not easily cleaned.
Double-pipe (plain and finned tubes) 300 bar (shell) (higher pressures possible with special design). 1400 bar (tube). 100 to 600°C (higher with special materials). Subject only to materials of construction. 0.25 to 200 m2 per unit multiple units are often used. High thermal efficiency, standard modular construction.
Electric tubular heat exchangers 300 bar Up to 700°C. Subject only to materials of construction. 3 to 650 kW. Multiple units used for larger capacity. Special control systems can be used to minimise impact on electrical supply.
Glass-tube c. 1 bar Up to 250°C. Low pressure, suitable for corrosive fluids. Stainless steel often used in structure.
Graphite 20 bar 50°C to 165°C. Corrosion resistant unless fluid attacks resin. 0.2 to 60 m2. High corrosion resistance.
Spiral 18 bar Up to 400°C Subject only to materials of construction. Often used for fouling duties. Up to 200 m2. High heat transfer efficiency. Cylindrical geometry useful as integral part of distillation tower.
Heat-pipe Near
<200°C (higher with special heat pipe fluids). Low pressure gases. 100 to 1000 m2. Near counter-flow operation possible. Extended surface possible on both sides.
Plastic tube 1 bar Up to 100°C. Low pressure,suitable for corrosive fluids. Stainless steel often used in structure.
Plate-and-frame 25 bar with some models up to 40 bar. 25 to 175°C (40 to 200°C possible for very special types) Normally unsuitable for gases. Limitation is on gaskets. 1 to 2500 m2 Modular construction. Normally the most economical if applicable.
Plate-fin 100 bar (aluminium). 200 bar (stainless steel), 273 to + 150°C (aluminium)
(up to 600°C in stainless steel),
Low fouling. <9 m volume Very small AT possible. Incorporation of multiple streams. Very large surface area per unit volume.
Printed-circuit 1000 bar 800°C (with stainless steel materiallimited). Low fouling. to 1000 m2 Very large surface area per unit volume. Stainless steel or higher alloys normal construction material.
Rotary regenerators Near atmospheric, Up to 980°C. Low pressured gases. Inter-stream leakage must be tolerated
Scraped- surface 10 bar. Up to 300°C. Liquids subject only to materials of construction. 5 to 10 m height, 0.5 m dia. Suitable for viscous and crystallisation systems
Welded-plate 60 bar (higher in shells). In excess of 65 0°C. Subject only to materials of construction. Not suitable for fouling duties. > 1000 m2 Differential pressure should be less than 30 bar. Differential expansion should be borne in mind.

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