December 2001


Enhance air-cooled heat exchanger performance

Here are ways to improve heat transfer for ACHEs

Karimi, I. A., Rangaiah, G. P., Shastri, S. S., Yap, C., National University of Singapore

Air-cooled heat exchangers (ACHEs) are used extensively in the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI).1 They are generally applied where a large fluid flow must be cooled, and water is expensive. Typically, the capital investment for an ACHE is three times that of an equivalent conventional shell-and-tube heat exchanger. Investment costs for ACHEs are very high; however, they offer lower operating and maintenance expenses. Due to the higher investment, greater care and foresight in the design are essential.         Fig. 1. Types of ACHEs: (a) A-frame configuration with forced draft;(b) horizontal with forced draft a

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