Case study
Equipment Cooler (lube oil & glycol)

How we designed an Air-Cooled Cooler without turbulators

How we designed an Air-Cooled 12 Pass Oil Equipment Cooler without turbulators for a global oil & gas company in the Middle East.

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Our solution
Equipment Cooler (lube oil & glycol)

Efficient Air-Cooled Cooler despite restrictive conditions

For an international well-known oil & gas company in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi region, we designed, manufactured, and delivered an Oil Air-Cooled Heat Exchanger. For Oil Coolers, tabulator inserts are typically used to increase the heat transfer coefficient and reduce the equipment size. Since the end user did not allow the use of tube enhancement, we used our ingenious solid block header construction to make a 12-row with a 12-pass design. This allowed us to fully comply with the strict requirements and client specifications, with only 30% of the plot space of a conventional design.

Customer challenge

Our customer was in need of an Air-Cooled Heat Exchanger that cools lube oil for their turbine package. In their specifications they did not allow the use of tube inserts to improve the tubular flow. Furthermore, the client did not allow multiple passes per row, which in combination with the other designs would result in a rather large plot pace and significantly increased CAPEX.

Our approach

At Bronswerk Heat Transfer we always focus on the customer’s needs and we use our experience to design equipment that maximizes performance. We start by diving into the customer’s specifications to mark all the requirements that impact the design of the equipment. Our thermal design department then uses the international well-known thermal calculation program HTRI to convert the received process data, combined with the specifications, into an equipment design. 

The tube enhancement is not allowed in this case but we do know that the higher the fluid flow the better the heat transfer coefficient, which decreases the size of the equipment. 

We designed the equipment with the maximum number of passes to have the highest heat transfer coefficient. This was only possible by implementing our patented Solid Block Header construction, allowing the customer to get the smallest design possible.

The solution

This construction enabled us to make a 12-row, 12-pass design. This solid block plug type header is machined from one solid piece of material instead of welded from plates. This means 90% fewer welds. The header construction is both efficient for high-pressure (<100 bar) applications and for sour service, hydrogen service and lethal service. This Air-Cooled Cooler Header accedes the requirements of API 661 and is often used for high-spec projects in the (petro)chemical industry.

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Air Cooler

Associated Product

More about the Solid Block Header also known as API 661 Air Cooler.

Solid Block Header
Equipment cooling / lube oil & glycol cooler

Associated Product

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Equipment Cooler
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Design optimization

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