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Thermal Design of Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers:

Heat can be transferred from a source to a receiver by conduction, convection or

radiation. In many heat transfer equipment exchange occurs by a combination of
two or the three ways of transfer


Transfer of heat through a fixed material occurs by conduction. The rate of heat
flow in a given direction at steady state conditions can be expressed by:

q kA m

Where: q = Rate of heat transfer (BTU/hr)

k = Thermal conductivity Btu/(h)(ft2)(oF/ft)
Am = Mean area of heat transfer perpendicular to direction of
heat flow (ft2)
t = temperature difference driving force (oF)


Transfer of heat by physical mixing of the hot and the cold portions of a fluid
occurs by convection. For steady state conditions the rate of heat flow can be
expressed by:

q = hAt

Where: h = Heat transfer coefficient Btu/(h)(ft2)(oF)


When radiant heat energy is transferred from source to receiver the method of
heat transfer is designated as radiation. The rate of radiant heat exchange
between two bodies under steady state conditions can be given by:

T 4 T 4
q 0.171A 1 2 FAEE
100 100

Where: A = Area of one of the surfaces ft2

T1 = Body 1 absolute temperature oR
T2 = Body 1 absolute temperature oR
FA = correction factor based on the relative orientation of the 2
FE = Correction factor based on emissivity and absorptivity of
the surfaces
The rate of radiant heat from a pipe under steady state conditions can be given
T 4 T 4
q 0.171A 1 1 1 2
100 100

Where: = Emissivity of the surface.

Overall Coefficients of Heat Transfer:

Many of the important cases of heat transfer involve the flow from one fluid
through a solid wall to another fluid. This heat flow must pass through several
resistances in series. The net rate of heat transfer can be related to the total
temperature difference driving force by employing an overall heat transfer
coefficient U, for steady state conditions:

q = UAtoam
Where: A = Inside or outside area of heat transfer ft 2
U = Overall heat transfer coefficient expressed per in/outside
area of heat transfer Btu/(h)(ft2 inside area)(oF)
toa = Total temperature driving force oF

The overall heat transfer coefficient (including a dirt or fowling resistance) can be
related to the individual coefficients or resistances as follows:

1 A A Ax w

Ud h' A' f h" f kA m w
Fouling factors:

After heat transfer equipment has been in service for some time, dirt or scale
may form on the heat transfer surfaces, causing additional resistance to the flow
of heat.
hd for miscellaneous
Substances subject to heat transfer process services,
Organic vapors, liquid gasoline, Refined petroleum
fractions (liquid),
Organic liquids; refrigerating Liquids, brine, oil-bearing
Distillate bottoms (above 25API), gas oil or liquid
naphtha below 500F
scrubbing oil, refrigerant vapors, air (dust) Gas oil above
500F, vegetable 0il
Liquid naphtha above 500F quenching oils 250
Topped crude (below 25AP1),fuel oil 200
Cracked residuum, coke-oven gas, illuminating gas 100

Mean Temperature Difference:

Logarithmic mean temperature can be used under the following conditions:

U or h is constant.
Mass flow is constant.
No partial phase change is present.
Specific heats of fluids remain constant.
Heat losses are negligible.

t oa1 t oa2
t oam t oalogmean

ln t oa1 t oa2
Corrected Logarithmic Mean Temperature:

In case of multi-pass exchangers, toam should be corrected using the following

Film Coefficients for Fluids in Pipes and Tubes:

Exact values for convection heat transfer coefficients for a certain situation can
be obtained experimentally under specified operating conditions. Approximate
values however can be used for use in design based on general experimental
data. The accuracy of such correlations is high in turbulent flow cases but
inaccuracy is high in laminar or viscous flow conditions.
The inside film coefficient can be obtained under turbulent conditions from the
following equation (Re>10000):
0.8 1 3 0.14
hiD DG c p
k k w

For common gases, the previous equation can be reduced to:

0.014c pG0.8

Where: G = Mass Velocity lb/(h)(ft2)

Film Coefficient for Fluids Flowing Outside Pipes Or Tubes:

The following equation can be used with accuracy when Reynolds number in
shell sides is between 2000 to 32000.
0.6 1 3
hoDo ao DoGs c p

kf Fs f k f

Where: Gs = Shell side mass velocity across tubes based on minimum

free area between baffles at shell axis lb/(h)(ft2)
ao = 0.33 if tubes are staggered or 0.26 if they are in-line.
Fs = usually between 1 and 1.8, 1.6 is often recommended

Minimum Free Area = ((ID of Shell)(Clearance between adjacent tubes)(Baffle spacing))

Center to center distance between adjacent tubes