What information is needed to size a heat exchanger?

The answer varies, depending on the type of heat exchanger. For a shell and tube, hairpin, or a plate heat exchanger, we will need the following information:
Five of the following:
– Warm fluid inlet temperature
– Warm fluid outlet temperature
– Warm fluid flow rate
– Cold fluid inlet temperature
– Cold fluid outlet temperature
– Cold fluid flow rate
– Each side of the exchanger needs at least two values from the above list. – Or, heat load and four values from above list (Again, need two values from each side.)

  • Allowable pressure drop for both fluids
  • Inlet pressure if fluid is a gas
  • Property data: We have a large data base of property data, but you may need to supply data for a proprietary fluid. Generally, we need thermal conductivity, specific gravity (or density), specific heat, and viscosity, at 2 points ­ 1 above the maximum temperature for each fluid in the exchanger, and 1 below the minimum temperature of each fluid.