Difference between Vertical and Horizontal shell and tube Heat Exchanger.

Heat Exchanger is a device in which transfer/exchange of heat takes place between two or more fluids which are at different temperatures. Heat exchangers are used in both cooling and heating processes depends upon the area of interest. This heat exchange is either by bringing the two fluids in direct contact or by indirect contact.

In this Article we focuses mainly on the major difference between vertical and horizontal shell and tube heat exchanger :

Horizontal Vs Vertical Heat Exchanger
  1. The main difference between both heat exchanger is of residence time. In case of vertical one the heat exchanger gets less residence time irrespective to horizontal one. More residence time (or, more contacts) responsible for more heat exchange between both hot and clod fluids.
  2. In case of heat sensitive material handling, where very less residence time is required ; there vertical heat exchanger is having more demands.
  3. Vertical H.E. uses less floor area (where space constraints is there) compare to that of horizontal H.E.
  4. Pumping cost is more in vertical Heat Exchanger since pressure drop is too high than horizontal heat exchanger.
  5. In vertical heat exchanger film-wise condensation occurs on the surface of tubes, as we know flim thickness increases going top to bottom; as a result decreases effective heat transfer coefficient; where as in horizontal type heat exchanger film formation is very less compare to vertical H.E, which results higher effective heat transfer coefficient.
  6. More maintinance is requires in horizontal heat exchanger since deposition of dirts, ions etc is more frequently compare to vertical heat exchanger which leads thermal insulation, as a result less effective heat transfer coeffiecient and less heat transfer.
  7. The chance of surface corrosion is more in horizontal heat exchanger than vertical heat exchanger.
  8. In vertical heat exchanger high circulation of fluid is possible where as in horizontal Heat Exchanger only low circulation one can achieve.

ImageSource : perry videx; Mountain States Engineering and Controls

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