Analysis and Performance Evaluation of Counter Flow Hairpin Heat Exchangers
Keywords:Hairpin heat exchangers, counter-flow, finned tube, multi tube, heat exchanger effectiveness
Among a variety of heat exchanger types and configurations, hairpin heat exchangers are widely used in engineering processes, especially in chemical and petrochemical industries. They have several operating advantages, such as flexibility and ease of maintenance. The aim of this work is to develop a computer program that is able to evaluate and predict the performance of counter-flow hairpin heat exchangers under different flow conditions. The mathematical framework for thermal and hydraulic calculations is introduced. The developed MATLAB code has been tested for reliability and accuracy against some of the available and approved designs of single-finned tube and bare multi-tube hairpin heat exchangers. Then, it was successfully applied to analyze existing hairpin heat exchangers operating in Alsarir oil field and the Tubrok oil refinery of Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) in Libya as case studies. The results show that by changing the operating conditions such as mass flow rates or inlet temperatures of working fluids, the thermal performance of hairpin heat exchangers can be enormously improved without exceeding the allowable pressure drop.
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