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Comparison of Plate Fin Compact Heat Exchanger Performance

[+] Author Affiliations
Ibrahim Khalil, Ahmad Abu Heiba, Robert Boehm

University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Paper No. IMECE2008-66113, pp. 1325-1332; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B, and C
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, October 31–November 6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4871-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3840-2
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Plate fin heat exchangers (PFHE) are characterized by very close temperature approaches and high thermal effectiveness, large heat transfer area per unit volume, low weight per unit transfer and possibility of heat exchange between many process streams. These advantages are only limited by operating fluid temperatures and pressures. The main target of this paper is to study the performance of plate fin compact heat exchangers and to provide full explanation of previous comparison methods of compact heat exchanger surfaces (plain, strip, louvered, wavy, pin, perforated and vortex) used in plate fin compact heat exchangers. We generalize these methods to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each type of geometry (more than sixty geometries studied) based on required size, entropy generation, pumping power, weight, and cost. The effect of using different surfaces on each side of the heat exchanger and design recommendations are also discussed.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME
Topics: Heat exchangers



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