Heat Exchanger Problems Solved
Heat exchangers are known to have various problems which can affect the performance and heat transfer rates for your plant. Over the last few years a range of unique heat exchanger solutions have been designed to help solve common heat exchanger problems.
Solving heat exchanger problems is a key factor process plants have to take into consideration when looking to keep the performance of that process plant at an optimum level. The below shows some guidance on how heat exchanger problems can be solved.
The first and most common heat exchanger problem is fouling which is when deposition of any material or liquid sticks to the heat transfer surface causing various performance issues within the exchanger. The main problem of fouling is the huge reduction in the overall heat transfer coefficient, corrosion and finally the increase in pressure drop.
Fouling has been an issue in heat exchangers for centuries and as yet only a handful of fouling mitigation solutions are known, if fouling occurs and no mitigation solutions are installed it could result in your heat exchanger having to be shut down and cleaned thoroughly, however this will only be a temporary fix.
The best way to solve this type of heat exchanger problem is to install either hiTRAN or twisted tape both of these solutions will help keep fluid moving along the tube side wall which in turn will reduce the risk of fouling occurring; these solutions can also help improve heat transfer and the performance of your exchanger.
The second most common heat exchanger problem is maldistributon, this is when heat exchangers are design with the assumption that the fluid stream will be uniformly divided among all tubes, however in reality an improper entrance configuration of heat exchanger will create flow maldistributon.
This problem can usually be overcome in the design stage although this is not always possible. This can lead to various process plants installing hiTRAN or turbulators to help overcome the issue of maldistributon, hiTRAN can be retrofitted or installed into new heat exchangers if the designer knows the issue will arise within the future.
Installing hiTRAN or any other sort of turbulator will help combat the two most common heat exchanger problems and ensure your heat exchanger can run at optimum performance.