What needed to design a shell and tube heat exchanger ?

The design of the heat exchanger is based on the heat exchanging calculation and the strength calculation. Below parameters are needed to have a accurate design of the heat exchanger.

Fluid – We would know the phase state, the density and other characteristics of the fluid, sometimes the fluid is simple, for example it is just air or cooling water; sometimes it is complicated, could be the mix of several hydrocarbons, need to know the composition for the mix fluid.

design shell and tube heat exchanger

Process conditions needed in the heat exchanger design software

Pressure – The inlet pressure of the fluids of the shell side and tube side, the strength calculation will be based on the pressure. It would be better if there’s clear requirement of the allowable pressure drop.

Temperature – Material stress will be dropping if the temperature is getting high, which would impact the heat exchanger strength. Also the inlet temperature and the wanted outlet temperature is the most important parameter for heat exchanging design.

metal thermal conductivity comparison

Metal thermal conductivity impact the heat transfer calculation

Flow rate – The flow rate plus the temperature determines the total volume of the fluid and the value of heat exchanging, also it determines the size of the heat exchanger.

Materials – The suppliers need to be advised in advance if there’s requirement of the materials. Not only because the materials contribute the big part of the cost, but also the thermal conductivity is different of each material. And there’re many kinds of alloys for one material, for example there’re copper nickel alloy tubes for inter cooler.

Cuni tubes of inter cooler

There’re different alloys of copper material for intercoolers.

Dimensions – The design has many possibilities, it can be a very long heat exchanger with small diameter and few tubes, and also it can be a short heat exchanger with big diameter and many tubes. Please let the designers know the limit of the dimensions in advance if it has. Article of IGcooler, all rights reserved.