Brazed Aluminum Plate Fin Heat Exchangers

Lili Lyddon

March 6, 2007

Multi-Sided or "Complex" Heat Exchangers are brazed aluminum plate and fin exchangers which can heat and cool up to 15 fluids simultaneously. They are commonly used in cryogenic service, both in air liquefaction and in high efficiency gas processing plants. They are composed of a large number of aluminum plates held apart by spacers which create flow channels between each pair of plates, thus enlarging the heat transfer area. Each flow channel may contain a different fluid, with fluids being heated flowing in the opposite direction from those fluids being cooled.

Although these units are more efficient than a "network" of Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers, many design engineers avoid using them because of the difficulty in calculating the performance of the combined unit. Fortunately, ProMax is capable of easily simulating Complex Heat Exchangers, thus allowing the engineer to capitalize on the increased efficiency. These brazed aluminum heat exchangers can also be rated using ProMax exchanger rating.

Authored by Lili Lyddon (BR&E Technical Support and Help Author)