Spiral heat exchanger solves costly fouling problems

A major US refinery was experiencing severe fouling and plugging problems in two shell-and-tube (S&T) heat exchangers installed to cool desalter effluent using cooling water. In 2008, on Alfa Laval's recommendation, the refinery replaced the two S&Ts with a fouling resistant spiral heat exchanger (SHE). The result exceeded expectations.

DATE 2023-11-28

The SHE gives continuous problem-free operation, higher process reliability and more consistent wastewater treatment temperatures than the S&Ts. Best of all, there has been no plugging and, based on savings in maintenance and cleaning costs alone, the payback time was less than 18 months. The on-site engineers were delighted! As one remarked: “I think the technology is great!”



Spiral heat exchanger

In a spiral heat exchanger the spiral flow pattern ensures a continuous, ultra-efficient self-cleaning effect that maximizes uptime and keeps maintenance costs down. A perfect fit for fouling applications, space-saving spiral heat exchangers provide excellent heat transfer and fluid handling characteristics for a wide range of duties in crude oil refineries..

 Spiral heat exchanger

Features and Benefits

  • Fully engineered to the needs of every customer
  • Self-cleaning effect reduces operating cost
  • Low maintenance cost due to easy access
  • Higher heat transfer efficiency than in shell-and-tubes
  • Unique ability to handle two highly fouling fluids