Selecting Optimum Plate Heat Exchanger Surface Patterns

[+] Author and Article Information
W. W. Focke

Chemical Engineering Research Group, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

J. Heat Transfer 108(1), 153-160 (Feb 01, 1986) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3246880 History: Received October 12, 1983; Online October 20, 2009


With appropriate simplifications, plate heat exchanger dimensions and performance can be described by suitable combinations of the base dimensionless groups: Colburn j factor, friction factor, and Reynolds number. Such combinations are used to construct graphic methods for finding optimum geometries (patterns that minimize the surface area required for heat transfer) subject to various constraints. It was found that the number of potentially optimum geometries increased with increasing number of constraints. In plate heat exchangers, the heat transfer performance is related to the pumping power expended. Therefore, in modular plate heat exchangers, the fixed plate lengths limit design flexibility in that heat transfer and pressure drop cannot be varied independently. This limitation can be partly overcome by using interchangeable chevron-type plates of different corrugation inclination angles in the same plate pack.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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