Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers: Optimal Cooling Solutions to Different Applications

January 20, 2020

Shell and tube heat exchangers are popular among many industrial and commercial applications for a good reason. For one thing, the cylindrical shells and their internally mounted tube stacks are efficient. That's a prominent feature, one that's been put to good use in steamy-hot boiler rooms. Interestingly enough, because they're so efficient, they've found a second important role, one that facilitates the cooling of excessively hot system fluids.

Heat Exchangers Chill Thermally Charged Fluids

That's something of a puzzling thought, the notion that heat exchangers can cool hot gasses and liquids, but it's true. Instead of using one super-hot fluid medium to warm a second liquid stream, the equipment architecture hosts two thermally opposed mediums. In one, there's a hot thermal load which is the medium that requires cooling. In the second line, there's a cold liquid, and this is the substance that "leeches" heat from the first fluid medium. Of course, there are more complex heat exchangers. They use compressors and refrigerants. They're found in advanced refrigeration units, in mobile "reefers" and, not surprisingly, in domestic freezers. For scalable industrial cooling, however, shell and tube heat exchangers function splendidly as moderately efficient fluid cooling mechanisms.

Investigating Heat-Exchanged Cooling Applications

To understand the need for such fluid conditioning units, check out the liquids flowing in some of our most dynamic machines. Hydraulic systems produce hot oil, and the heat spreads through the gear because the oil pipes and hoses have essentially become a thermal transportation conduit. This is an undesirable state of affairs, but what can be done to prevent the heat's propagation? Hydraulic parts produce thermal energy, and contaminants in the oil just worsen matters. From here, the gear might start to cavitate, and then the machinery will shake itself to pieces. Coming to save the day, a heat exchanger conditions the hydraulic oil. The shell and tube architecture swaps the chill in one isolated fluid medium for the heat in the oil, and then the thermal energy dissipates harmlessly through a heat sink. Lube oil cooling, turbine and engine cooling, too, the equipment easily scales to manage all equipment-generated thermal discharges.

Even without intricate condenser and evaporator coils, plus an expansion valve and refrigerated fluid medium, shell and tube heat-exchanged cooling is a tough architecture to incorporate within a pressure vessel. The energies contained inside their cooler metallic innards are dynamic. Whereas a boiler room heat exchanger expands and contracts when influenced by strong thermal energies, it's the temperature differentials, the hot and cold thermal variations that torture these cooling units, so the selected pressure vessels, those used for this chilly purpose, had better be designed to tolerate such metal and weld wrenching energies.

Contact Details

Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619

1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915

Ph: (03) 5909 8218

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