Grid geometry effects on pressure drops & heat transfer in an EMbaffle heat exchanger

Francesco Perrone


EMbaffle is a patented shell and tube heat exchanger technology, designed to improve performance and simultaneously reduce operating costs by reducing fouling deposition and pressure drops. It is currently applied in several Oil & Gas and Power Generation facilities. In the EMbaffle design, tubes are fully supported by expanded metal grids (EM-Grids) allowing a pure longitudinal flow pattern, so that dead zones are avoided and tube vibration does not occur. The open structure of the grids reduces the pressure drop; at the same time its shape increases
turbulence and heat transfer. In order to simulate the behaviour of the fluids inside an EMbaffle exchanger, a parametric 3D numerical CFD model of a representative portion of the heat exchanger has been implemented by EMbaffle in collaboration
with EnginSoft. ANSYS Workbench has been used to build up the model and ANSYS CFX as solver.
The present work is focused on investigating the influence of different EM-Grids on the development/propagation of turbulence in the shell-side fluid; the link between turbulence propagation and performance of the exchanger (in terms of heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop) will be analysed in depth and relevant design guidelines identified.