Compact Heat Exchangers 'Make it Happen' with Innovations from Alfa Laval

Editor: Gabriele Ilg

At yesterday morning’s press breakfast, Alfa Laval introduced a number of innovations that the company is exhibiting under the motto, “Make it Happen.” “If you want a product that guarantees more up time, Alfa Laval makes it happen,” said Sammy Hulpian, vice president of the process technology division. This mantra was repeated many times, whether you want to increase the energy efficiency of your process, reduce the waste produced, conserve water and more.

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Martin Jönsson, market unit manager, Refinery and Petrochemicals standing near the new Duro Shell.
Martin Jönsson, market unit manager, Refinery and Petrochemicals standing near the new Duro Shell.
(Picture: Ondrey)

The newest innovation, just unveiled yesterday, is the Duro Shell, the next generation in plate-and-shell heat exchanger technology, which was introduced by Martin Jönsson, market unit manager, Refinery and Petrochemical. The Duro Shell features a unique, patented plate that was optimized for strength, explained Jönsson. This can be important in batch processing, where there are a large number of heating and cooling cycles, which can lead to stress fatigue in conventional plates. The unique pattern of plates also leads to a better flow distribution, which reduces fouling, Jönsson said.

The design of the plates provides a higher heat transfer rate, and thus requires less area for a given capacity. As a result, the heat exchangers are extremely compact. In addition, the Duro Shell is designed for handling high pressures (above 100 bar), and is fully welded, with no gaskets. All of these features combine to make the exchanger idea for applications in petrochemicals, gas compression, power generation and more. The first Duro Shell units were sold just two weeks ago.

Other innovations presented at the stand include the recently launched tantalum heat exchanger, for service involving corrosives. The cost-effective use of a Ta coating enables a return on investment of just two years, and the compact design reduces the overall footprint while easing servicing, explained Anna Lundgqvist, marketing manager, petrochemicals. As an example, she pointed to a recent application for PQ Corp., in which a 3-ft long graphite exchanger was replaced by an Alfa Laval Tantalum exchanger, which was just 30-cm long.