Skip to Content

Author Archives: Enerquip

  1. How to Determine Which Impingement Protection Method is Best

    Leave a Comment

    Excessive Vibrations Impact the Life of a Heat Exchanger

    A shell and tube heat exchanger is vital for many production operations. This equipment is built to last for years, but some processes can be tough on them. High fluid flows, for example, can cause corrosion and vibration, which can damage the machine. Excessive vibration can lead to tubes pulling out, causing cross-contamination or damage to the shell and tubes.

    The Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA) advises that in some high-velocity situations, an impingement plate is necessary. This is required when single-phase, non-abrasive fluids reach a dynamic pressure, or v2, greater than 1,500. For other high values, TEMA recommends additional protective devices to prevent erosion and vibration.

    However, installing these plates can have drawbacks, such as increasing the shell diameter or causing their own vibrations. Therefore, it is crucial for manufacturers to thoroughly understand the problem, the potential consequences of altering the exchanger, and the overall benefits.

    Virtually Testing Impingement Plates Before Investing

    Understanding the full impact of installing an impingement plate can be challenging. It’s also not always clear if an impingement plate is the best solution, or if another method might better reduce the risk of erosion and vibration.

    Computer simulations, like HTRI software, can predict how a piece of equipment will affect the exchanger’s performance. This software uses mathematical and physical models to predict fluid flow in relation to the objects and fluids it encounters.

    Exploring Other Options

    Impingement plates are not the only method to reduce vibration and erosion risk. Annular distributors, impingement plates, and impingement rods can all benefit a shell and tube heat exchanger operating at high velocity.

    An annular distributor can be installed along with an expansion joint to save on cost and space. This is a good solution for processes prone to thermal expansion, as it helps reduce erosion and vibration and minimizes the risk of uneven expansion that could damage the shell or tubes.

    TEMA also suggests that tube-end inserts and distributor baffles can address high-velocity process issues.

    Using a longer shell allows the inlet valve to be moved away from the tube bundle, preventing it from being placed directly above the tubes. For new builds, a U-tube design might be worth considering. If an impingement plate is necessary, this design doesn’t suffer from reduced shell diameter, as in a straight tube design. Additionally, if high-velocity processes may also cause damaging thermal expansion, a U-tube exchanger prevents tube pullout or shell damage since the tubes can expand as needed, being only attached to a tube sheet at the front bonnet.

    If your exchanger operates at high velocity and you are concerned about erosion or vibration issues, consider these methods. The experts at Enerquip can help you determine the best solution.


  2. Choosing Between a Straight Tube and U-Tube Heat Exchanger Design

    Leave a Comment

    Designing a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger

    Designing a shell and tube heat exchanger involves considering various factors, such as cost, application, and facility limitations. A key decision in this process is choosing between a straight tube and a U-tube exchanger. The tube design is crucial; selecting an inappropriate design can lead to exchanger damage or fouling, which is hard to clean. Both designs are widely used across industries like food and beverage, chemical, and pharmaceuticals, each with its own pros and cons.

    The Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA) classifies exchangers into types, with the BEU model (U-tube design) and the BEM model (straight tube design) being the most common. These models are identical except for the tube design and the rear bonnet. The B-type front bonnet allows access to the tube sheet for cleaning after removal from the piping and is relatively inexpensive. The E-type shell is a popular single-pass design.

    Straight Tube Design
    Straight tube shell and tube heat exchangers from Enerquip

    Advantages of a Straight-Tube Design

    The straight tube design, particularly the BEM model, is simple and versatile, suitable for nearly any industry and application. Some companies may prefer other models for higher efficiency, but the BEM design often works as a substitute.

    Straight tube exchangers enable pure countercurrent flow, usually without needing a second exchanger in series. In such cases, an F-type two-pass shell with a longitudinal baffle is preferred over the E-type, as the baffle separates the two streams. Countercurrent flow means the hot and cold streams move in opposite directions, ensuring the hot stream is always warmer than the cold stream throughout the exchanger.

    In contrast, cocurrent flow involves the hot and cold streams moving in the same direction, requiring the cold stream to always be cooler than the hot stream. This configuration is less efficient, so many manufacturers avoid it.

    Cleaning is another key consideration. Straight tubes are the easiest to clean due to their lack of bends. However, some designs make inspecting and cleaning the shell difficult because the tubes cannot be removed from the shell.

    U Tube Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger by Enerquip
    U-tube shell and tube heat exchanger from Enerquip

    Advantages of a U-Tube Design

    While straight tube designs have many benefits, they can be limited in certain areas, making the U-tube design popular. Although U-tubes involve bending, they require only one tube sheet and bonnet, significantly reducing costs.

    Straight tubes are susceptible to damage from thermal expansion, as tubes heating at different rates can harm the tube sheet and shell. An expansion joint can mitigate this issue, but it adds cost. U-tube exchangers, connected to the tube sheet and shell at only one end, allow for thermal expansion without damaging the rest of the machine.

    U-tube designs also facilitate easy removal of tube bundles for inspection and cleaning of the shell and the outside of the tube bundle.

    If you have questions about the most suitable type of exchanger for your application, contact the experts at Enerquip for advice on the best option to meet your needs.


  3. How Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers Benefit the Agriculture Industry

    Leave a Comment

    Current State of the U.S. Agriculture Industry

    Agriculture is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy and lifestyle. As of 2024, this vital sector and its related industries, contributed over $1.5 trillion to the national economy.

    With a population exceeding 342 million, according to recent Census Bureau estimates, American households spend approximately 9% of their monthly budget on food. But agriculture extends beyond just providing produce, meat, and dairy. It also supports sectors like textiles, forestry, food services, and more. Currently, the agriculture and food industries provide over 21 million jobs, accounting for about 10% of total employment.

    Navigating Modern Challenges and Advancements

    Despite its importance, the agricultural sector faces numerous challenges, including:

    • Climate Change: Persistent droughts and extreme weather events, affecting states like California, continue to challenge agricultural productivity.
    • Health and Nutrition: Evolving concerns about nutrition and diet require adaptation and innovation.
    • Pests and Diseases: Emerging diseases and pests threaten livestock, poultry, and crops.
    • Workforce Shortages: A decline in students pursuing agricultural sciences impacts the future workforce.

    The Role of Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers

    Shell and tube heat exchangers are essential in maintaining safety and efficiency in agricultural production. These systems are integral to the dairy industry, as well as the food, beverage, and biodiesel sectors.

    Dairy and Food Safety

    Pasteurization is a critical process for ensuring the safety of dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Raw milk poses a higher risk of disease transmission compared to pasteurized milk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unpasteurized milk is significantly more likely to cause disease outbreaks.

    Juices and ciders also require pasteurization to eliminate harmful bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates Juice Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems to ensure safe pasteurization practices. Pasteurization temperatures for juices range from 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the duration of the process.

    Learn more about the vital role of pasteurization.

    Biofuels and Sustainable Energy

    The agriculture sector is instrumental in biofuel production, providing sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. Biofuels, including biodiesel and ethanol, are derived from agricultural feedstocks. Ethanol production primarily involves fermenting starches and sugars, with ongoing research exploring the use of cellulose and hemicellulose. Biodiesel is produced from fats, such as vegetable oil or cooking grease, and helps reduce vehicle emissions.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers play a vital role in biofuel distillation, which involves removing sulfur content and adjusting product characteristics.

    Looking Ahead

    Research and development continue to drive progress in agriculture, paving the way for innovations that address current challenges and enhance productivity. For more information on how shell and tube heat exchangers can benefit your agricultural operations, contact us or request a quote today.

    More from the Enerquip Blog

  4. Two Methods for Cleaning Heat Exchanger Tubes: Chemical Cleaning vs. Hydroblasting

    Leave a Comment

    Shell and tube heat exchangers are crucial in many industries, from oil and gas to food and beverage. Despite the differences in these fields, they share the need for well-maintained shell and tube heat exchangers to prepare products for consumers.

    When using a shell and tube heat exchanger, the fluid that is more likely to corrode or foul is typically placed on the tube side. This is because the tubes are easier to clean or replace than the shell. This makes it vital for operators to know how to properly clean and maintain the tubes.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers come in various sizes and configurations. Some are easier to clean than others, mainly because some have tube bundles and bonnets that can be easily removed from the shell, while others are connected to the body of the exchanger. Knowing the type of bonnet your exchanger has and the appropriate cleaning method is crucial when purchasing the exchanger.

    There are several ways to clean the tubes of a heat exchanger, each with pros and cons. It’s important to choose the right method for your specific machine and operation.

    Chemical Cleaning

    Chemical cleaning is effective for fixed-channel box designs, which can be particularly challenging to clean because the tubes are not detachable from the shell. The chemicals can be circulated through the tubes or cascaded. This approach is advantageous for exchangers with substantial build-up, as the chemicals can remove more deposits than many alternative cleaning techniques.

    However, chemical cleaning is one of the more expensive options. It often necessitates mechanical cleaning afterward to eliminate any residual substances that could contaminate future batches. Additionally, this method can be time-consuming and pose potential environmental risks, depending on the type of chemicals used and waste management practices.


    Hydroblasting uses high-pressure water to blast away debris or deposits in the tubes. Hydroblasting does not involve the use of hazardous chemicals, making it a more environmentally-friendly cleaning option.

    This method can be done manually or with an automated system. The manual approach involves an operator using a high-pressure hose to clean each tube individually, which is effective and relatively inexpensive but can result in uneven cleaning and safety concerns due to the high water pressure.

    Automated systems, such as flexible lance and rigid lance systems, allow multiple tubes to be cleaned at once, saving time. Flexible lance systems are suitable for U-tube heat exchangers and those with curved tubes, while rigid lance systems are better for exchangers with straight tubes due to the higher water pressure they can provide.

    While hydroblasting is effective, if the water pressure is not carefully controlled, could weaken the tubes and create leaks. The water and debris generated during the hydroblasting process must be properly collected and disposed of, which can add to the overall cost of the cleaning operation.

    Choosing the Right Cleaning Method

    When it comes to selecting the best cleaning method for your heat exchanger tubes, there are several factors to consider, including the type and severity of the deposits, the materials of the heat exchanger, the available budget, and the overall impact on your operations.

    In general, chemical cleaning may be the preferred option for larger heat exchanger systems or for removing stubborn deposits that are difficult to access. However, if environmental concerns or the potential for residual chemical deposits are a priority, hydroblasting may be the better choice.

    It’s important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each method and consult with experienced professionals to determine the most suitable approach for your specific heat exchanger cleaning needs. Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential for ensuring the optimal performance and longevity of your heat exchanger equipment.

    More from the Enerquip Blog

  5. What Are Thermal Oil Heaters?

    Leave a Comment

    Facilities increasingly opt for industrial thermal oil heaters to replace or upgrade their existing equipment. Learn more about thermal oil heaters, including how they work, their potential applications, and their advantages.

    What Are Thermal Oil Heaters?

    Thermal oil heating systems use a closed-loop design and high temperatures to transfer heat between an original heat source and a heat sink with thermal oil as the transfer medium.

    Thermal oil heaters consist of the following key components:

    • Heat Source. The heat source in these systems can be an electric heating component, burner, or a waste heat recovery source.
    • Thermal Fluid. Thermal oil travels through the heater to transfer heat energy from the source to the intended application.
    • Heat Exchanger. A heat exchanger enables the system to transfer heat from the thermal oil to another process medium, such as air or another liquid.
    • Pump. The pump manages the flow of thermal fluid, ensuring proper circulation.
    • Control System. Contemporary thermal oil heaters include advanced control systems and safety features, including precise temperature regulation.

    Applications of Thermal Oil Heaters

    Many types of industrial processes rely on thermal oil heating solutions. Chemical and pharmaceutical facilities use these systems for reactor heating and drying. Energy plants can utilize them to generate electricity or to power combined heat and power (CHP) systems. Both plastic and rubber plants rely on heat energy for mold heating, curing, and extrusion processes.

    Thermal oil heaters facilitate the production of many materials. Manufacturers can bond plywood layers and dry paper rolls. Textile and printing facilities can use thermal oil heaters for dyeing and printing. Specifically, these heaters may help to control temperature or ink viscosity. Food processing facilities may also thermal heating with industrial baking, sterilization, and frying.

    Platform heating systems also use thermal oil with offshore gas and oil platforms. Cargo heating applications include using thermal oil heating systems to regulate cargo temperature when transporting shipments.

    Benefits of Thermal Oil Heaters

    Thermal oil heaters also offer a few critical advantages over other heat transfer systems, such as:

    • Efficiency. Thermal oil heaters offer greater overall efficiency compared to alternative heating methods.
    • Installation flexibility. This equipment also allows users to optimize available space when updating or replacing heating systems.
    • Reduced maintenance. Thermal oil heaters require less maintenance than steam boilers and other heating solutions.
    • Precise temperature control. Thermal fluid systems allow for improved temperature regulation for process heating.
    • Wider temperature ranges. Oil has a higher boiling point than water and can thus safely maintain higher temperatures.

    Thermal Oil Heaters from Enerquip

    If you require a high-quality industrial thermal oil heater for your application, you’ll find some of the best solutions at Enerquip. As one of the leading thermal oil heater manufacturers, we aim to consistently provide our customers with reliable products and custom designs.

    Contact us today to speak with one of our experts about your needs or request a quote for custom equipment.

    More from the Enerquip Blog


  6. How to Prepare to Clean a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger

    Leave a Comment

    As most manufacturers working with shell and tube heat exchangers know, fouling can be detrimental to an operation. It is crucial that all equipment used to process a product is working at its optimal capacity. To ensure this, manufacturers and operators need to take the time to inspect and clean shell and tube heat exchangers.

    The complexity and time required for these tasks vary depending on the heat exchangers’ design and configuration. Manual inspection and cleaning might take a day or two, resulting in downtime. Therefore, it’s important to choose the best day to minimize losses and to plan ahead. Scheduling maintenance in advance helps manage downtime and ensures a smooth turnaround process.

    Knowing When to Clean

    In sanitary industries, like food, dairy and pharmaceutical, there are often well-established protocols established for the timing of heat exchanger cleaning. These cleanings are most commonly accomplished through the use of an automated CIP (clean-in-place) system that will clean and sanitize the tubing without having to disconnect the piping or exchanger parts. These cleanings are often done daily or weekly between batches of product.

    Chemical Processing explained that over the past half-century, companies have changed the way they view scheduled maintenance days. In the past, cleanings took place one or more times a year. The years have brought equipment that is more reliable and requires fewer cleaning days. Today, the norm is closer to cleaning once every four to 10 years. Of course, this depends on the exchanger type and what it is being used for. Some materials that pass through an exchanger are less prone to fouling than others. For this reason, it is important that operators and manufacturers know the signs of fouling and the nature of the chemicals and products they work with.

    There are many advantages to going several years without a cleaning. The fact that cleanings are less necessary indicates the resiliency and efficiency of the exchanger. It also means there are fewer days during which the company loses profit due to ceased production. However, there are some downsides to this as well. Chemical Processing points out that since the last turnaround day may have happened as long as a decade ago, fewer operators and maintenance experts will be familiar with the process of cleaning and inspecting the machines. Because of this, it is important that all people involved in the cleaning day be properly educated and prepared for it.

    Getting Prepared

    Chemical Processing advised people getting ready for a turnaround day to make a checklist of everything that needs to be completed on that day. This will help someone who is inexperienced or out of practice keep track of all necessary tasks. This list should include recording how the machine is operating just before you shut it down, whether all the measuring tools available make sense or if others would be best, layout dimensions for the machine and all its parts, and whether there is any damage or other factors that could cause harm to the product or machine later on. It is also important to have any replaceable spare parts on hand, like gaskets, O-rings and hardware, so that any damaged or compressed parts can be replaced before the unit is re-connected and brought back online. Because exchanger parts can be very heavy, it is also important to have a safe lifting plan with adequate clearance to remove bonnets, piping and other parts in order to gain access to the tube bundle.

    How to Clean

    It’s a good idea to take pictures of everything mentioned in the notes taken throughout the day. This will help explain any damage encountered and provide reference for the notes the person performing the turnaround takes.

    There are many ways to clean a shell and tube heat exchanger, though most require being offline. The most widely chosen method is mechanical cleaning. This involves determining what kind of deposits you will be removing from the tubes. Deposits range from small amounts of silt to substances that are more difficult to remove, depending on the materials that are used in the exchanger. Once this is determined, decide which cleaning method is appropriate. Some common examples include brushes, used for lighter debris; calcite cleaners, used to remove stubborn calcite deposits which couldn’t be removed with acid; and metal tube cleaners, used for harder deposits.

    Hydroblasting has also been commonly used, though precautions to reduce risk of injury or tube damage must be taken if managers choose to go with this option. Good Way explained this method involves water pressurized to 10,000 to 25,000 pounds per square inch, which is then blasted through the tubes to remove deposits.

    Chemical cleaning is another preferred method, though it is a more expensive option. Chemicals that are mildly acidic will take off debris faster and more efficiently than a mechanical process. However, the tubes will still need to be cleaned of the chemicals used to prevent contamination or environmental hazards.

    More from the Enerquip Blog

  7. Designing a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger

    Leave a Comment

    Shell and tube heat exchangers are an integral part of many operations. The product flowing through the exchanger, such as dairy, food, or pharmaceuticals, will eventually be in the hands of customers who rely on consistent quality for their health and well-being. For this reason, it is crucial the exchanger is the best one for the job.

    Manufacturers need to choose the right style of shell and tube heat exchanger. Different processes and industries have different requirements for their equipment. Because of this, customizing a shell and tube heat exchanger takes expertise from both the supplier and the buyer of the equipment. A lot that goes into fabricating a heat exchanger and taking all pertinent items into consideration is essential during the design phase.

    The Shell

    Perhaps the most recognizable part of the shell and tube heat exchanger is the shell itself. There are many different options for the shell design, including one-pass shells, two-pass shells, double split flows, divided flows and cross flows. These are all classified as different standards with the Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association. There are also several streams within the shell that need to be taken into consideration when designing it.

    There are many different materials that shells can be made from. The materials should be resistant to corrosion and sturdy enough to encase the tubes and the high-pressure processes that will occur within. Carbon steel is a common material used for shells, as is stainless steel. Stainless steel is highly resistant to many forms of corrosion, making it a preferred material for many manufacturers.

    It’s important to understand what liquid will be flowing through the shell side. Knowing the liquid that will be used will help to determine the material, as the metal chosen should not react with the fluid used. Viscous fluids can be used either on the tube side or the shell side. However, many exchangers that use viscous liquids on the shell side experience vibrations, which puts the equipment at risk of damage and maldistribution.

    Tubes and Tube Sheets

    There are three types of tube sheet designs. A fixed tube sheet has tubes that run from one end of the shell to the other and is welded to the shell. A U-tube heat exchanger only requires one tube sheet because the tubes leaving the tube sheet are bent at the end of the exchanger and returned to the same sheet. The third type is the floating head. This requires two tube sheets; one, which is fixed to the shell, and a second, which is located at the other end but is not fixed, allowing for tube expansion.

    There are many factors to consider when choosing between these three. One of them is cost. The fixed tube sheet is the least expensive because the design is the simplest. The U-tube tube sheet itself may be less expensive because only one is needed, though the tubes are generally more expensive because they require more work to bend properly. Finally, the floating head tube sheet is the costliest.

    However, while cost plays an important part in the decision-making process, it cannot be the only factor. It is crucial that the tubes and tube sheets be cleaned and maintained to prevent breaks, leaks and fouling. The fixed tube sheet’s tubes can be taken out for cleaning, but the tube bundle cannot be removed from the shell, making cleaning difficult. On the other hand, the U-tube and floating head designs allow for the bundle to be removed, so cleaning is easier.

    Learn more about maintaining your shell and tube heat exchanger.

    More from the Enerquip Blog

  8. Maintaining Your Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger

    Leave a Comment

    Editor’s note: This content was last updated 5/14/24.

    A pivotal component across various operations, the shell and tube heat exchanger stands out as a cornerstone in many processes. In sectors like food, beverage, and dairy, its role in safeguarding consumers from contaminated products is paramount. Similarly, within the pharmaceutical realm, heat exchangers play a vital role in upholding the quality of medications.

    The ramifications of a heat exchanger malfunction are significant. Contaminated products result in potential decreases in productivity and, in severe cases, damaging recalls that tarnish reputations. To avert such scenarios, regular review and servicing of the heat exchanger are imperative. Neglecting maintenance leaves heat exchangers vulnerable to corrosion and fouling, which in turn heightens the risk of leaks. These leaks can lead to undesirable mixing of product with cooling or heating fluids, rendering entire batches unusable. Additionally, the accumulation of corrosion and deposits within the exchanger compromises its efficiency, hindering the attainment of desired temperatures.

    Corrosion leads to bigger problems

    Like any piece of equipment, a shell and tube heat exchanger requires periodic maintenance, including cleaning, repairs, and ultimately replacement. Continuous use will inevitably lead to wear and, potentially, corrosion. The objective is to prolong the exchanger’s operational lifespan for as long as possible. Proper maintenance can extend its longevity for decades, involving meticulous and regular inspections of all components.

    Ensuring the heat exchanger’s cleanliness is paramount throughout its lifespan. Prior to initial use, a thorough examination is necessary to confirm proper assembly and to prevent contamination of the tubes and shell by dirt, dust, or other contaminants.

    Corrosion is an inevitable process that occurs over time, despite adhering to maintenance schedules. It arises from chemical reactions within or surrounding the heat exchanger. Different metals react differently with various substances. Stainless steel is an optimal choice for exchangers, particularly when handling potentially corrosive substances that could harm other metals like copper alloys. High-alloy grade stainless steel can withstand corrosion from most acidic, alkaline, and chlorinated substances. However, even though the metal exhibits high resistance to corrosion, it will gradually deteriorate with time.

    Learn about the many options you have when it comes to heat exchanger material selection.

    Water monitoring

    The best way to prevent corrosion is to make sure only the best substances for the exchanger’s material makeup enter the machine. Using the correct chemicals to treat and clean the tubes is essential. This information should be obtained before you begin using your heat exchanger to ensure you are prepared for its maintenance from the get-go.

    Many heat exchangers use water as the heat transfer liquid. Tap water is generally of an acceptable quality to use in the machine. However, it is important to double check the water before putting it into the exchanger. The pH should be neutral, and the water shouldn’t be polluted or have any bacteria or other contaminates in it. If the water comes from a natural source, is should be treated before entering the tubes.

    Learn more about the different types of water for steam applications.

    If the water isn’t treated or inspected before entering the exchanger, debris could enter the machine and block the chambers. To prevent this from happening, screens or filters can be installed to keep particles out. If they do enter, they will wear against the tubes and cause corrosion.

    Regular monitoring of the heat exchanger’s condition aids in early detection of potential failures before fouling or contamination exacerbate the issue. Assessing water quality serves as an indicator of potential or ongoing failures; cloudy water suggests impurities. Additionally, recording temperature and pressure fluctuations can reveal emerging issues. Reduced efficiency may signal scaling, a solid precipitate formed from chemical reactions, which, over time, leads to fouling and corrosion. Monitoring other parameters such as tube thickness also provides insights into emerging problems.

    If you find that you need to replace all or part of your heat exchanger, contact Enerquip today. Need something fast? Review our many stock options.


    More from the Enerquip Blog

  9. Addressing the Impacts of Maldistribution in Heat Exchange

    Leave a Comment

    Editor’s note: This content was last updated 5/13/24.

    In the realm of processing liquids with shell and tube heat exchangers, maintaining impeccable conditions is paramount. Even the slightest flaw, breakage, or contamination within the exchanger can jeopardize the entire liquid batch’s suitability for consumption.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers, renowned for their versatility across various industries, including dairy, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals, play a pivotal role in ensuring consumer safety and trust.

    Maldistribution causes problems

    One challenge faced in shell and tube heat exchanges, though, is maldistribution, characterized by an uneven flow of liquid through the tubes. This issue can lead to tubes pulling out of their designated spaces on the tube sheet, risking contamination of the processed solution and compromising product integrity. Repairing such damage can be costly and time-intensive, underscoring the importance of preventing maldistribution.

    You may consider a double tube sheet to further seal and separate the tubes and the shell. 

    Thermal expansion exacerbates maldistribution, particularly when there’s uneven heat distribution between the shell and tube sides of the exchanger. Installing expansion joints can mitigate this risk, ensuring the components can expand and contract uniformly. Additionally, maintaining evenly dispersed flow within the exchanger, especially as the flow rate increases, is crucial for averting maldistribution. Employing liquid distribution systems with adequate pressure and temperature control can further enhance uniformity across tubes.

    Understanding these potential causes of maldistribution underscores the importance of investing in high-quality, customized shell and tube heat exchangers. By incorporating features like expansion joints and bottoms recirculation systems, companies can safeguard against maldistribution and its detrimental effects on product quality.

    For tailored solutions and expert guidance on process equipment, contact Enerquip today.


    More from the Enerquip Blog


  10. Oil and Gas Industry Helping Drive Heat Exchanger Market

    Leave a Comment

    Editor’s note: This content was last updated 5/13/24.

    The oil and gas industry has been advancing the heat exchanger market in various capacities, according to several reports. MarketsAndMarkets explains that heat exchangers are an integral part of the petrochemical and oil and gas industry. The chemical industry is the most influential driver of heat exchanger business.

    Get cracking

    The global market for oil and gas equipment is expected to be worth USD $134.20 billion in 2024 and $156.18 billion by 2029, according to Mordor Intelligence.

    Oil and gas equipment can be categorized in two parts: rotating and static equipment. Rotating equipment is comprised of valves, pumps and turbines, while static equipment includes valves, furnaces, boilers and heat exchangers.

    Heat exchangers play an important role in processing oil and gas. They are used in the refining process in cracking units as well as in the liquefaction of natural gas. Cracking is the process of breaking the hydrocarbons that compose crude oil into smaller pieces, according to Chemguide.

    Cracking takes place after the first round of distillation. Then, lubrication and heavy gas oils go through a cracking process. After cracking, a second round of distillation separates the pieces into groups. Heat exchangers come into play to separate oil from any water that is produced during the process.

    The BBC explains that cracking is a thermal decomposition reaction, which means heat is used to break apart the hydrocarbons. Once the hydrocarbons are in smaller, more applicable pieces, they can be used to make fuels and polymers.

    Still distilling

    Heat exchangers play a vital role in the diabatic distillation process, facilitating heat transfer both within the reboiler and throughout the distillation column.

    During this process, water is propelled through a sequence of trays to regulate the temperature of the oil, while steam from the reboilers circulates through another set of trays. Each tray incorporates a heat exchanger, which significantly enhances the speed and efficiency of the process. By accelerating the reboiler’s temperature rise, heat exchangers expedite the distillation process. Additionally, they optimize the cooling efficiency of the condensers, contributing to overall process enhancement.

    Heating up

    According to MarketsAndMarkets, the oil and gas industry is also boosting the global waste heat recovery market. It is expected to grow 7.1% CAGR from 2022 to 2027. Waste heat recovery is primarily done through the use of heat exchangers and other equipment such as turbines and industrial heating boilers.

    “Between 20 and 50 percent of industrial energy output is wasted.”

    A report from the World Economic Forum said up to half of industrial energy input is wasted. The way to utilize this wasted energy is through waste heat recovery. A U.S. Department of Industry report stated the converted heat can usually be used for generating electricity, heating and absorption cooling. Heat exchangers in this process are typically most useful for preheating air before it enters a furnace system. This takes some of the stress away from the furnace, allowing it to use less fuel and energy to heat the air itself.

    The World Economic Forum reported governments and industries around the world begin to make environmentally friendly changes, and many have focused on striking a balance between three concepts: energy security, energy affordability and environmental sustainability. Large industries, such as oil and gas, have especially been looking into ways to achieve an ideal energy triangle.

    According to the Department of Industry, low-temperature heat recovery, which is identified as being between 100 and 400 degrees, can use shell and tube heat exchangers to condense water vapor in the discharged gases.

    In a report, Research and Markets explains that government regulations on greenhouse gas emissions have inspired the use of heat exchangers and other heat recovery equipment. Reusing wasted heat not only cuts down on emissions, but also reduces the amount of fuel needed to run oil and gas facilities. The report predicts that continued regulations on how environmentally friendly facilities need to be will keep driving the need for heat exchangers.

    Contact Enerquip to learn more about high-efficiency process equipment for the oil and gas industries. 


    More from the Enerquip Blog