May 2011

Heat Transfer

Update on designing for high-fouling liquids

A critical analysis of shell and tube exchanger systems looks at ‘clean and dirty’ service performance

Nesta, J., Fluor Corp.; Coutinho, C. A., Heat Transfer Research, Inc.

Heat exchanger design for high-fouling liquid hydrocarbons requires careful consideration to minimize the frequency of costly shutdowns. In an earlier article, an alternative methodology was presented that aimed at achieving a critical velocity made possible by a reduced amount of excess surface area.1 This was recommended in lieu of typical fouling resistances that result in large excess surface areas with lower velocities for the same pressure drop. Here we discuss:• Importance of shear stress by controlling the fluid velocity• Role of allowable pressure drop• Fouled performance of “low-foul” designs compared to conventional designs. Note: The de

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