Design Of Air Cooled Heat Exchangers – Utility Optimization Services In India

Air cooled heat exchangers, often abbreviated as ACHEs, and are commonly found throughout India. Refineries and chemical plants will often use these in place of water-cooled heat exchanges – and that is because it doesn’t involve any issues regarding water, where there is shortage of water as well as pollution.

The air cooled heat exchangers are commonly referred to as air coolers, which are different from devices that cool the air, referred to as air chillers.

The overall design of air cooled heat exchangers can vary, but it involves the tube bundle where there are multiple finned tubes that terminate into a header box. The fins are made of aluminum strips and spirally wound. The fins can take on various formations, being overlapped or single. Ultimately, they are designed to provide contact resistance, which can increase based upon the temperature due to differential expansion.

Throughout India, it is important to look at utility optimization services in order to offer cooling without having to depend upon water. The country is not known for having a large amount of water to begin with, and it cannot be used within cooling units because it could take away from drinking water. Additionally, the polluted waters are incapable of being used within the heat exchangers.

The design of these ACHEs are relatively straightforward. The core tubes can be made from stainless steel or various alloys. While carbon steel is used in some instances, it is not typically found in India simply because of cost.

Air moves over the tubes in a cross flow path using axial flow fans. The way in which the air moves can be arranged in order to create induced or forced draft. This depends on what the overall goal is. Forced to draft is most common and easier to maintain. Induced draft is used for even air distribution, but requires additional power because the fans are found within the hot air stream.

As such, in order to optimize the utilities throughout India, it is most common to see a forced draft arrangement on the air cooled heat exchangers. Further, the sound is not too loud, as the principal noise is found coming from the fans. Designs can be created to reduce the noise if necessary.

The average air cooled heat exchanger is a large piece of equipment in comparison to some of the other heat exchangers, though as long as there is sufficient space, it can provide free airflow and be used in a variety of different environments.

Ultimately, the choice of design is based upon the desired ambient temperature. When temperatures rise in India, many people are glad to have these exchangers – and since it requires no dependency on water, it’s that much more advantageous to incorporate these designs into refineries, chemical plants, and various other locations.

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