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Investigating the Effect of Fouling on TEMA-Type Heat Exchangers’ Selection

[+] Author Affiliations
Abdullah M. Al-Otaibi

Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Paper No. HT2009-88600, pp. 727-735; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the InterPACK09 and 3rd Energy Sustainability Conferences
  • Volume 1: Heat Transfer in Energy Systems; Thermophysical Properties; Heat Transfer Equipment; Heat Transfer in Electronic Equipment
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4356-7 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Fouling has been a very serious problem in heat exchangers ever since their invention. It would require increasing heat exchanger nominal size by up to 30% to compensate for the losses in heat transfer due to fouling accumulation on the heat transfer surface. The large energy losses lead to more research in this field, and coming up with new technologies that target the reduction of these losses. This paper investigates the intent of having two similar TEMA-type shell-and-tube heat exchangers, S- and T-type configuration, utilized in industrial operations. Since the main reason for having these two types are the need to facilitate maintenance activities of fouled shell-side’s shell and tube heat exchangers, this paper assesses achieving this challenge when using the proposed heat exchanger type. This paper also presents a comparison of using the two heat exchanger types regarding different factors. The main factors considered are the cost (initial, operation, time and repair), and the utilization of new technologies appearing in the field of shell-and-tube heat exchangers to mitigate fouling. This paper also employs some actual heat exchanger problems at oil and gas operations as an example of fouling mitigation at S- and T-type heat exchangers.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Heat exchangers



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