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Study of heat transfer in Shell and Tube heat exchanger.


Heat Exchanger is device that facilitates heat exchange between two or more fluids. They are used wherever efficient heat energy transfer is required particularly petrochemical plants, petroleum refinery, natural gas processing, air conditioners and refrigerators, sewage treatment etc. Considering wide spectrum it swaps , the device is a necessity in most of the industrial applications.


Broadly Heat Exchanger can be classified in six types: (Ref. Shah 1981)

1)According to transfer process

Indirect Contact Type

Direct Contact Type

2)According to no. of fluids

Two fluid

More than two fluids

3)According to surface compactness

Gas to fluid

Liquid to Liquid and Phase Change

4)Construction Type


Plate Type

Extended Surface


5)On basis of flow arrangements

Single Pass


6)Heat Transfer Mechanisms


Transfer type heat exchanger uses two fluids and head conduction is through the wall (separation between two fluids). Transfer type heat exchanger is used in the lab, more specifically Multipass Heat Exchanger. One of the fluid passes through tube while the other uses shell as it's transfer medium.

Principle used is conservation of Heat Energy.

Heat lost by the hot fluid (q h) =Heat gained by the cold fluid (q c )

q h =m c C pc (T co -T ci )

Q avg =(q c +q h )/2

U=Q avg /(A a Δ T m )

Experimental Setup

The experiment setup uses 1-2 Pass Shell and Tube heat exchanger. There are two types of flows- 1) Utility flow (hot water here) 2) Processed flow (tap water here)

Hot water is heated in a reservoir through heating coils and pumped through a magnet driven light duty pump into the tubes and cold water flows through shell. Fluid flow is controlled through the rotometer.

Technical Details(Lab Manual, Che 391) Shell: Material SS, ID 146mm, length 500mm with 4, 25% cut baffles Tube: 24 Nos, Material SS, OD 12.7M, ID 9.5M, Length 500mm.


1) Connect the electric supply to the experimental setup. 2) Set the desired temperature in the digital temperature control. 3) Start the pump and open the bypass valve. 4) Switch on the heater and wait till the temperature reaches the desired value. 5) Adjust the flowrate of cold water through rotometer, and control valve. 6) Adjust the flowrate of hot water through rotometer, and control and bypass valve. 7) Record the outlet temperature after the steady state process is reached. 8) Repeat the experiment for different sets of hot and cold water inlet flowrates. 9)After the readings have been noted, switch of the pump, heater and disconnect the setup from the power supply.


The average value of overall heat transfer coefficient comes out to be 143.84W/m 2 K with the standard deviation of 20.94W/m 2 K.The overall heat transfer coefficient U was calculated using harmonic mean of U i and U o for each set of values and then the average was taken.


Ideally heat lost by hot fluid should be equal to heat gained by the cold fluid for a given flow rate of hot water and cold water but in our set-up this doesn’t come out to be exactly equal. As a result of it, the average of Q h and Q c is taken as Q which introduces slight error. The other reasons could be improper insulation due to which heat gets lost to surroundings, error in measurement and observation of flow rate which is used in computation of heat lost/gained. The error could have propagated in the calculations due

to limitation of Digital Temperature Controller which had a least count of 0.1 degree

Celsius. There are some losses in pipes due to bends, pumps and also the specific heat


water and density are evaluated at mean of inlet and outlet temperature which leads


loss of accuracy. The errors are computed by statistical means and standard deviation


used as a measure of error in the experiment. The graph of C p versus T is plotted

which shows slight variation in heat capacity of water from 4178.3J/kg K to 4183.7J/kg

K in the temperature range from 17 degree Celsius to 40 degree Celsius. This is

expected since heat capacity of liquids is a weak function of Temperature and Pressure. The graph of density of water versus Temperature shows a downward sloping function as expected but here also the change is minute going from 992kg/m 3 to 998.7kg/m 3 over temperature starting from 17.1 degree Celsius to 40 degree Celsius. Density of liquids

again is almost independent of temperature. The graph of U i /U o versus Flow rate comes out to be a constant equal to 1.338 which makes sense because U i A i =U o A o . Since the ratio of outer surface area to inner surface area is constant and greater than one, this should have been constant and >1 as well which is the case here. The graph of U i and U o vary in non-linear fashion with T lm since any change in T lm would mean change in

Q as well.


1) Run the setup in proper voltage conditions. 2) Be cautious about the control switches of pump and heater before switching on the power supply. 3) Flow rates should be noted carefully to avoid observational errors. 4) Check the water connections for the leakage. 5) Note the readings from DTC only when they are stabilized.


A i = Internal Heat transfer area (m 2 ) A o = Outside Heat transfer area (m 2 ) C ph = Specific heat of hot fluid at mean temperature, J/Kg-°C C pc = Specific heat of cold fluid at mean temperature, J/Kg-°C D 0 = Outer diameter of tube, m D i = Inner diameter of tube, m F h =Flow rate of hot water, LPH F c =Flow rate of cold water, LPH L= Length of tube, m


h =Mass flow of hot water, Kg/s


c =Mass flow of cold water, Kg/s

N= Number of tubes Q= Average heat transfer from the system. Q c =Heat gained by the cold system Q h = Heat lost by hot fluid T h = Mean temperature of hot water, °C T c = Mean temperature of cold water, °C T 1 = Inlet temperature of hot water, °C T 2 = Outlet temperature of hot water, °C T 3 = Inlet temperature of cold water, °C T 4 = Outlet temperature of cold water, °C Δ T m = Log mean temperature difference,°C U i = Inside overall heat transfer coefficient U o = Outside overall heat transfer coefficient p c = Density of cold water at mean temperature, Kg/m 3 p h = Density of hot water at mean temperature, Kg/m 3


J.P. Holman, “Heat Transfer”, 10 th Edition Shah, 1981 McCabe, Smith, Hariott, “Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering Lab Manual CHE 391 Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook Data calculation through: