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Heat Exchanger Design

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Heat Transfer

There are three basic types of Heat Transfer: conduction, convection and radiation. The two most common forms encountered in the chemical processing industry are conduction and convection. It is used throughout any industrial facility, heat must be added, removed, or moved from one process stream to another. To transfer heat from one process to another, Heat Exchangers are used.

What are Heat Exchangers?

A Heat Exchanger is a device built for efficient Heat Transfer from one medium to another. The medium may be separated by a solid wall, so that they never mix, or they may be in direct contact. They are widely used in space heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, power plants, chemical plants, petrochemical plants, petroleum refineries, and natural gas processing. One common example of a Heat Exchanger is the radiator in a car, in which the heat source, being a hot engine-cooling fluid, water, transfers heat to air flowing through the radiator (i.e. the Heat Transfer medium).

Heat Exchangers come in so many shapes, sizes, makes, and models, they are categorized common characteristics. One common characteristic that can be used to categorize them is the direction of flow the two fluids have relative to each other.


  • Parallel flow exists when both the tube side fluid and the shell side fluid flow in the same direction.

  • Counter flow exists when the two fluids flow in opposite directions. Each of the fluids enters the Heat Exchanger at opposite ends.

  • Cross flow exists when one fluid flows perpendicular to the second fluid; that is, one fluid flows through tubes and the second fluid passes around the tubes at 90° angle.

The most common types of Heat Exchangers are plate and shell-tube types. Others are Regenerative Heat Exchangers, Adiabatic wheel Heat Exchangers, Plate fin Heat Exchangers, Fluid Heat Exchangers, Waste heat recovery units and Dynamic scraped surface Heat Exchangers.

Universal Engineering Services provides thermal and mechanical design of Heat Exchangers. We have more than a decades experience in Heat Exchanger Design for customers in UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and many more countries all over the world.

The content of this article is taken from web open source. The blogs are intended only to give technical knowledge to young engineers. Any engineering calculators, technical equations and write ups are only for reference and educational purpose.

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