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Spiral Plate Heat Exchangers: Sizing Units for Cooling Non-Newtonian Slurries

By Angelo A. Moretta*, Bechtel National |

Gooch Thermal Systems Spiral plate heat exchangers are ideal for cooling slurries and viscous fluids. The performance of these units is characterized by increased turbulent heat transfer, reduced fouling, greater ease of maintenance, and more compact size compared to many competing options. In a spiral plate heat exchanger, the hot fluid enters at the center of the unit and flows from the inside outward (Figure 1). The cold fluid enters at the periphery and flows toward the center. Heat transfer is carried out by the countercurrent flow that is achieved. Both fluid streams flow in identical passage configurations, and therefore have the same heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics. Heat transfer analysis The amount of heat exchanged between the hot and cold fluids inside a spiral plate heat exchanger can be found by performing a simple energy balance around the appropriate section of the exchanger using this general relationship: Nomenclature A = Heat-transfer surface area, ft2 Ac = HS = Flow area of channel, ft2 C = Core diameter, in. cc = Specific heat of cold fluid, Btu/lbm°F ch = Specific heat of hot fluid, Btu/lbm°F cp = Specific heat of fluid, Btu/lbm°F DH = Average hydraulic diameter of channel,…
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