Overall Heat Transfer Coefficients

Posted on October 22, 2009

To carry out quick heat exchanger calculations, an estimate of the overall heat transfer coefficient usually needs to be made.  Some typical values for the overall heat transfer coefficient for a variety of different types of heat exchanger are listed below.

The values can be used in the Blackmonk Heat Exchanger Calculator.

The reference values have been taken from Coulson & Richardson’s Chemical Engineering Vol. 6, 3rd Edition, R K Sinnot.

Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers

Hot fluidCold fluidOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
WaterWater800 - 1500141 - 264
Organic solventsOrganic solvents100 - 30018 - 53
Light oilsLight oils100 - 40018 - 70
Heavy oilsHeavy oils50 - 3009 - 53
GasesGases10 - 502 - 9

Shell & Tube Coolers

Hot fluidCold fluidOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
Organic solventsWater250 - 75044 - 132
Light oilsWater350 - 90062 - 158
Heavy oilsWater60 - 30011 - 53
GasesWater20 - 3004 - 53
Organic solventsBrine150 - 50026 - 88
WaterBrine600 - 1200106 - 211
GasesBrine15 - 2503 - 44

Shell & Tube Heaters

Hot fluidCold fluidOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
SteamWater1500 - 4000264 - 704
SteamOrganic solvents500 - 100088 - 176
SteamLight oils300 - 90053 - 158
SteamHeavy oils60 - 45011 - 79
SteamGases30 - 3005 - 53
DowthermHeavy oils50 - 3009 - 53
DowthermGases20 - 2004 - 35
Flue gasSteam30 - 1005 - 18
Flue gasHydrocarbon vapours30 -1005 - 18

Shell & Tube Condensers

Hot fluidCold fluidOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
Aqueous vapoursWater1000 - 1500176 - 264
Organic vapoursWater700 - 1000123 - 176
Organics (some non-condensibles)Water500 - 70088 - 123
Vacuum condensersWater200 - 50035 - 88

Shell & Tube Vaporisers

Hot fluidCold fluidOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
SteamAqueous solutions1000 - 1500176 - 264
SteamLight organics900 - 1200158 - 211
SteamHeavy organics600 - 900106 - 158

Air-Cooled Exchangers

Hot fluidCold fluidOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
WaterAir300 - 45053 - 79
Light organicsAir300 - 70053 - 123
Heavy organicsAir50 - 1509 - 26
Gases (5 - 10 bar)Air50 - 1009 - 18
Gases (10 - 30 bar)Air100 - 30018 - 53
Condensing hydrocarbonsAir300 - 60053 - 106

Immersed Coils – Natural Circulation

CoilPoolOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
SteamDilute aqueous solutions500 - 100088 - 176
SteamLight oils200 - 30035 - 53
SteamHeavy oils70 - 15012 - 26
Aqueous solutionsWater200 - 50035 - 88
Light oilsWater100 - 15018 - 26

Immersed Coils – Agitated

CoilPoolOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
SteamDilute aqueous solutions800 - 1500141 - 264
SteamLight oils300 - 50053 - 88
SteamHeavy oils200 - 40035 - 70
Aqueous solutionsWater400 - 70070 - 123
Light oilsWater200 - 30035 - 53

Jacketed Vessels

JacketVesselOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
SteamDilute aqueous solutions500 - 70088 - 123
SteamLight organics250 - 50044 - 88
WaterDilute aqueous solutions200 - 50035 - 88
WaterLight organics200 - 30035 - 53

Plate Heat Exchangers

Hot FluidCold FluidOverall HTC (W/(m2.K))Overall HTC (Btu/(hr.ft2.F))
Light organicLight organic2500 - 5000440 - 880
Light organicViscous organic250 - 50044 - 88
Viscous organicViscous organic100 - 20018 - 35
Light organicProcess water2500 - 3500440 - 616
Viscous organicProcess water250 - 50044 - 88
Light organicCooling water2000 - 4500352 - 792
Viscous organicCooling water250 - 45044 - 79
Condensing steamLight organic2500 - 3500440 - 616
Condensing steamViscous organic250 - 50044 - 88
Process waterProcess water5000 - 7500880 - 1321
Process waterCooling water5000 - 7000880 - 1233
Dilute aqueous solutionsCooling water5000 - 7000880 - 1233
Condensing steamProcess water3500 - 4500616 - 792

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