Spiral Heat Exchanger Range Can Do It All

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Spiral Heat Exchanger Range Can Do It All

Date Added: 4th May 2012

There are three basic types of heat exchangers, shell and tube, plate and spiral heat exchangers (SHE) that are in common use for liquid-to-liquid and vapour to liquid heat transfer in a wide variety of industries. Many types in all sizes (and duties) are available from Alfa Laval, global leaders in heat transfer technologies.

When specifying heat transfer duties in any industrial, pharmaceutical, chemical, food, beverage and utility processes, efficiency of the transfer, optimum thermal contact time of the process fluid with the cooling and heating fluid, minimum pressure drop in the process fluid and the ability to keep it operating with minimum downtime is key. The spiral heat exchangers from Alfa Laval tick all these boxes and what is more, they are all fully drainable.  

The spiral heat exchanger works by two concentric spiral passages, co-located but separated with a thin metal barrier in between to transfer heat from one fluid to the other. The basic heat exchanger is arranged to so that counter flow takes place from centre to the periphery and vice versa with one inlet and one outlet connection for each flow.  

The whole exchanger cartridge is contained within an enclosed tank rated for the pressure duty. A huge area of thermal contact area, the spiral counter flow, and the turbulent high pressure flow path makes this arrangement ideal for self-cleaning for one or both flows being dirty flows commonly found for example in waste water treatment plants or other fouling duties where heat recovery is part of the process.  

Alfa Laval's Spiral Heat exchangers are normally mounted with the spiral axis horizontal and both flows fully enclosed within a pressure cylinder. All units can be fully drained for maintenance. For condenser duties using steam or other vapours, the big plus is the fact that the pressure drop in the SHE unit is virtually zero.

Alfa Laval's Standard Heat Exchanger is one variant type that is optimised for fouling duties where high concentrations particulate and other solids are present in the process flow.  The long spiral cassette is set vertically with the process flow spiral set for downward flow. The bottom edges of the spiral chamber are open whereas the cooling or heating flow spiral chambers are totally enclosed. This allows the particulate or other solids to drop out and collect in the outlet chamber.  The whole pressurised cylinder is arranged for frame mounting and this makes for a tiny building footprint.

Alfa's High Pressure Heat Exchanger is normally found in the petrochemical industry where high fouling fluids are found for heat recovery and are manufactured to meet specific requirements for each customer and duty.  

Alfa Laval can do it all with spiral heat exchanger technology where one or both fluids are highly fouling. Other flow and cleaning arrangements can be accommodated in one unit, all of which have a building footprint smaller than any other heat transfer technologies.