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How to adjust pressure drop in heat exchangers

How to adjust pressure drop in heat exchangers

This is a quick guide on how to adjust the pressure drops in shell and tube heat exchangers. This short article assumes that you are in a simulation stage and have already calculated both shell side pressure drop and tube side pressure drop. You can use shell and tube heat exchanger design software to carry out this design simulation.

How to adjust the tube side pressure drop

Increase or Decrease the Number of tubes per pass – Increases your pressure drop on the tube side and vice versa. i.e. More tubes per pass higher pressure loss.

Increase or Decrease the Tube length – Increasing the Tube length has an effect on the pressure drop, the action would increase the tube side pressure drop and vice versa

Number of tube passes – Increasing the number of tube passes will increase your pressure drop on the tube side and vice versa.

Number of shells – Increases the pressure drop.

How to adjust the Shell side pressure drop

Flow path length (TEMA type, tube length)

Change the Baffles style, cut and/or spacing

Number of shells – More shells increases the pressure drop.

Other ways to adjust the pressure drops

Can include Install tube inner diameter inserts also changing tube pitch. All above method will affect the pressure drops. Ultimately you want to reduce your pressure drops on both sides as this will have a final impact on your project cost reduction, i.e. pumps…etc

I hope you find this useful.

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