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Hairpin heat exchangers design

As a registered HTRI member (© Heat Transfer Research, Inc.), at SACOME we have a new design tool, the Xhpe package, being this software suite a specific program for the calculation of hairpin heat exchangers. Thanks to this tool, our technicians are able to carry out an in-depth analysis of the heat transfer process that occurs in the U bundles of this type of heat exchangers, by getting a more optimized and reliable design.

HTRI integrates this calculation software in addition to the well-known modules of Xjpe for the design of double tube heat exchangers (tube-in-tube), and Xist for the design of multitubular heat exchangers (shell & tube), included in the version 7 of Xchanger Suite, thus endowing our technical department with the latest developments and advances in the field of heat transfer.

Tubular heat exchangers design
Hairpin heat exchangers design

What is the configuration of a hairpin heat exchanger?

This design apparently consists of two shells that share a common U-shaped tube bundle. But, in fact, both shells make up a single volume since they are directly interconnected by a U-shaped header.

Hairpin heat exchanger
Hairpin heat exchanger

Unlike multi-pass heat exchangers (multiple passes in tubeside), hairpin heat exchangers have the peculiarity that the shellside stream circulates countercurrent to the tubeside flow, in all passes. This, together with a smaller shell section, makes it a more efficient and economical design compared to a multiple pass heat exchanger when the process requires a temperature crossing between the cold and hot fluid.

Advantages of hairpin heat exchangers

  • It has a better thermal performance than a multi-pass heat exchanger, even for processes having very low EMTD (effective mean temperature difference).
  • As it is a U-tube design, metallic expansion joints are not required to absorb the differential expansion between the service channel and the product channel.
  • The U-radius of the hairpin itself is also an effective transfer length, unlike the elbow that would be needed to interconnect in series two shell and tube heat exchangers.
  • It allows a design with removable U-tube bundle but also completely welded.
  • The pressure drop in the product channel is lower than the one achieved in an equivalent multipass design.
  • It is a compact design, with low maintenance cost.
  • Hairpin heat exchangers design

    Technical documentation with regard to our tubular heat exchangers

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