Heat Exchanger Design: Selection, Calculation and Simulation

Masterclass training of Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger, Simulation using advanced simulation tool: HTRI

What is Heat Exchanger Process Design?

What you’ll learn

  • Basic principles of heat exchanger design, Factors that affect heat transfer. Fouling factors.
  • Geometry selection for shell and tube exchanger.
  • Shell and tube heat exchangers: TEMA classifications, Tubes, Other exchanger components, Factors that affect heat transfer.
  • Heat exchanger operating parameters and problems, Energy conservation overview and methods.
  • Selection of heat exchanger type: Shell and Tube, Plate and Frame, Spiral, Air Coolers.
  • Reviewing vendor options.

Course Content

  • Introduction –> 4 lectures • 8min.
  • TEMA Standards –> 3 lectures • 12min.
  • Software Exposure –> 4 lectures • 28min.

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What is Heat Exchanger Process Design?

Heat exchanger process design involves the systematic and efficient planning, configuration, and specification of heat exchangers to facilitate the exchange of heat between two or more fluids. Heat exchangers are devices designed to transfer thermal energy between fluids while keeping them physically separated. The primary objective of heat exchanger process design is to optimize the heat transfer process to meet specific requirements such as temperature control, energy efficiency, and overall system performance.


Key aspects of heat exchanger process design include:


  • Fluid Selection
  • Temperature and Pressure Requirements
  • Heat Transfer Area
  • Flow Configuration
  • Material Selection
  • Geometry and Design Parameters
  • Thermal Performance Optimization
  • Cost Considerations
  • Regulatory Compliance


What is Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger?

A Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger is a type of heat exchanger that consists of a shell (a large container) and a series of tubes enclosed within the shell. The basic design involves one fluid flowing through the tubes while another fluid flows over the tubes, facilitating the transfer of heat between the two fluids. This type of heat exchanger is widely used in various industrial processes due to its versatility and efficiency.

Here are the main components and features of a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger:


  • Shell: The shell is a large cylindrical vessel that houses the tube bundle. It typically has inlet and outlet connections for the two fluids involved in the heat exchange process.
  • Tube Bundle: Inside the shell, there is a bundle of tubes through which one of the fluids flows. These tubes can be arranged in various configurations, such as straight or U-shaped, depending on the application.
  • Tube Sheets: The tube sheets are located at both ends of the shell and provide support for the tube bundle. They also serve to seal the shell from the tubes, preventing fluid mixing.
  • Baffles: Baffles are plates or disks placed inside the shell to direct the flow of the fluid over the tubes. They enhance heat transfer efficiency by promoting turbulence in the fluid flow.
  • Tube Side and Shell Side: The fluid that flows through the tubes is referred to as the “tube side,” while the fluid that flows over the tubes and inside the shell is called the “shell side.”
  • Tube Passes: The tubes may be arranged in multiple passes within the shell, allowing the fluid to make several passes through the tube bundle. This arrangement enhances heat transfer efficiency.
  • Tube Materials: Tubes are often made of materials that offer good thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance, such as stainless steel, copper, or various alloys.
  • Tube Bundle Expansion Joints: These are designed to accommodate the differential thermal expansion between the tube bundle and the shell to prevent damage during temperature variations.


Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers are widely used in applications where high heat transfer efficiency is required, such as in chemical processing, power generation, refrigeration, and oil refining. They are favoured for their reliability, ease of maintenance, and adaptability to handle a wide range of temperature and pressure conditions.


Software for Heat Exchanger Design


  • HTRI (Heat Transfer Research, Inc.)

HTRI is a leading provider of software and services for heat exchanger design and analysis. Xchanger Suite includes tools for process simulation, thermal design, mechanical design, and rating of various types of heat exchangers.

  • Aspen Exchanger Design & Rating (EDR):

Aspen EDR is part of the Aspen HYSYS process simulation software suite. It provides capabilities for the design and rating of heat exchangers, including shell and tube, air coolers, and plate-fin exchangers.


After this course you will be able to do?

After completing a heat exchanger design course, students can acquire a range of knowledge and skills that will enable them to perform various tasks related to the design, analysis, and operation of heat exchangers. Here are some of the key competencies and abilities that students may gain:


  • Understanding of Heat Transfer Principles
  • Knowledge of Heat Exchanger Types and Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Thermodynamics Understanding
  • Selection of Suitable Materials
  • Knowledge of Industry Standards and Codes
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Simulation
  • Problem Solving and Troubleshooting
  • Project Management Skills
  • Awareness of Energy Efficiency
  • Safety and Environmental Considerations
  • Communication Skills

Overall, a heat exchanger design course provides students with a comprehensive skill set that is valuable in industries such as chemical processing, oil and gas, power generation, HVAC, and more. Whether working in engineering, design, or operations, individuals with expertise in heat exchanger design are essential to ensuring efficient and safe thermal processes.


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