How does a shell and tube heat exchanger work?

How does a shell and tube heat exchanger work? How to do it

Heat exchange equipment of various types has firmly taken its niche in all industries. In general, all this equipment can be divided into two main groups: tubular and plate aggregates.

Plate heat exchangers were the first to appear historically. Even before the invention of any technology, it was noticed that if a metal shield is placed in the path of hot water, it will cool faster. And if there are still some patterns on the shield, then the heat transfer process will go faster.

Thus, for the first time in practice, the basic principles were discovered, which are also used in modern thermal physics. This is the principle of turbulence, that is, swirling the coolant flow to increase the intensity of heat transfer. And this is the principle of heat transfer as such.

All this is now used in the design of heat exchange equipment. Throughout the history of mankind, in one way or another, there were certain heat exchange units in everyday life. But only with the development of industry did the stage of active production of heat exchangers begin. It was during this period that lamellar aggregates were displaced. And tubular were found to be more effective.

In particular, it is a shell-and-tube heat exchanger, which is a shell with bundles of tubes located inside. This is a rather cumbersome unit. This is explained by the fact that the intensity of its work depends mainly on the area of ​​the heat exchange surfaces. Accordingly, dimensions and power are closely related. And even the latest developments do not allow now to move away from this strong dependence. As before, high-power units occupy rather large areas.

The process of heat exchange inside occurs due to the movement of the coolant in the annular space. The capacity can be partially increased by placing internal baffles in the annular space. This will increase both heat exchange areas and flow turbulence. All this will lead to an increase in power.

You can also use techniques for influencing the property of the coolant itself. When gas is included in a liquid heat carrier, it is also possible to increase the intensity of heat exchange, and, accordingly, the power of the unit.

Various methods for increasing the thermal power of shell-and-tube heat exchangers are used today in order to modernize production facilities and increase the economic efficiency of using these units.

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