Computational Methods for Heat Exchanger Design

Bala Kumaravel, Vedant Agrawal, Kushal M B


The concept of shell and tube heat exchangers with helical baffle (STHXHB) was developed for the first time in Czechoslovakia. The helical baffle heat exchanger (Aka HELIXCHANGER ) is a good modification to the conventional, segmental baffle shell and tube heat exchangers. It provides the necessary characteristics to reduce flow dispersion and generate near plug flow condition. It also ensured a certain amounts of cross flow to the tubes to provide high heat transfer coefficient. The Shell side flow configuration offer a very high conversion of pressure drop to heat transfer. The STHXHB has improved shell side heat transfer coefficient, lesser pressure drop for given mass flow rates, reduced fouling in shell side, reduced bundle vibration. In reality, the STHXHB actually have discontinuous approximate helicoids. These are usually elliptical sector-shaped plates joined successively. Literature survey carried out for this project can be found here .


In this project, we developed a simple tkinter based software to aid in the design of Shell and Tube Heat exchangers with Helical Baffles. The sourcecode for the program can be found here .


Inputs to the program:


Shell side and Tube side Inlet temperature, outlet temperature, Specific Heat capacity, Fouling resistance, Prandtl Number, mass flow rate, allowable pressure drop, viscosity, thermal conductivity. Modifiable parameters to the program are present in the top section of the program. This helps in in-depth customisation of the heat exchanger