Heat Exchangers Exchange Through the Fin: Achieving Higher Efficiency in Heat Transfer

Editor: Wolfgang Ernhofer

For key heat exchangers in large-scale ethylene and LNG plants Engineering Company Technip and Wieland work together. The two companies offer customised solutions for high-performance heat transfer.

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Wieland Rippen- und Hochleistungsrohre mit unterschiedlicher Rohrgeometrie für die Prozessindustrie.
Wieland Rippen- und Hochleistungsrohre mit unterschiedlicher Rohrgeometrie für die Prozessindustrie.
(Picture: Wieland)

”In cooperation with our customers, we develop solutions for the safe and successful use of our products. The wide range of materials used is based on individual requirements and operating parameters. It comprises steel, stainless steel as well as special materials such as Duplex stainless steel and titanium”, says Bertram Arb, Sales Manager Process Technology.

Many years of heat transfer engineering experience and existing references in the process industry enable Wieland Thermal Solutions to offer custom-made solutions. On this basis, Wieland customers can develop heat exchangers characterised by compact design and resulting in increased efficiency. The heat transfer know-how is based on tests at the in-house laboratory as well as through the cooperation with universities worldwide. For example, the company is a member of Heat Transfer Research (HTRI), USA.

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Main products for the process industry include Gewa-K, -KS and -PB enhanced finned tubes. The applications range from gas- and liquid coolers to condensers and evaporators across the entire value chain of the process industry – from oil- and gas production, oil refineries as well as petrochemical and chemical plants through to power plants. The technical basis are rolled integral fins on both the outer and inner tube surface, hence the brand name Gewa. Through the extension of the surfaces as well as other thermal and fluidmechanic effects, heat transfer is substantially increased.

“During the finning process, helical fins are formed into the tube outside surface, like a thread into a screw. At the same time, an internal helical fin can be formed into the inside surface of the tube. This flexible process enables a large variety of fin structures to be realised according to the individual process requirements, e.g. for evaporation and condensation as well as gas- and liquid cooling or heating”, says Thomas Lang, Manager Technical Marketing Process Technology.

Efficient use of energy

Depending on the application and process conditions, shell-and-tube heat exchangers can thus be optimised. In the case of existing plants, ensuring the required heat capacity even under critical operating conditions and capacity extension have priority. In the planning of new plants, the focus is on criteria such as minimising investment cost, the number of heat exchangers per unit or the plot space.