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Air Cooled Heat Exchangers

Air cooled heat exchangers are typically used in circumstances where a source of cold clean water is not available or expensive, where the water may be corrosive in nature or where water is not an option due to environmental concerns. Air cooled heat exchangers do provide an environmental advantage in some cases because they do not develop a temperature rise in a water stream and they do not require water treatment as is required for Cooling Towers and Wet Surface Air Coolers. Air cooled heat exchangers do however, typically require more energy input to cool the same load as a Wet Surface Air Cooler.

Air cooled heat exchangers

The term “Air Cooled Exchanger” is a broad term and the product can vary significantly in design, application and cost. Air Cooled heat exchangers are also referred to as;

Not only is the term air cooled heat exchanger broad in name it also refers to a very broad range of products and applications. Air coolers can be applied as very simple water or oil cooler operating with a low flow in an industrial application to very large multiple-bank hydrocarbon condensers in a refinery or vacuum steam condensers in a power plant that are complex in design and specification. The key is to make sure the correct technology is used for the specific application.

Delta T Heat Exchangers can provide the range of applications from light duty to API 661 design;

Header Designs

  • Pipe Header
  • Removable Cover Plate
  • Welded Box Header
  • Plug Type Header

Air Flow Designs

  • Vertical or horizontal airflow
  • Induced or Forced airflow

Fin Types

  • Plate Fin
  • Brazed Aluminum 
  • Wrap-on Fin
  • Solder Coated Copper Fin
  • L-Footed Fin
  • Extruded Fin
  • Embedded Fin
  • Weld-on fin

Codes and Standards

  • API 661
  • TEMA
  • UL
  • ARI
  • PED
  • ASME Section VIII with a CRN
  • ASME Section III (N-Stamp for nuclear service)

Air cooled heat exchangers2

Click here for Information on Fin Types use in Air Cooled Heat Exchangers

Click Here for Information on Air-Cooled Compressor Cooling

Click Here for Information on Landfill Gas Coolers

Click Here for Information on selecting Air Cooled Heat Exchangers

Click Here for Information on Wet Surface Air Coolers (WSAC®)

Industrial Applications

Although all these codes have their applications, and some might be required by law, they may add significant cost to an exchanger and it is sometimes reasonable to ensure that value is being achieved by specifying particular codes in some applications.

Chemical / Petrochemical Processing Industry

  • Hydrocarbon Condensing / Coolers
  • Process Stream Cooling
  • Process Fluid Coolers
  • Air cooled Condensers

Power Industry

  • Turbine steam condensing
  • Thyristor cooling
  • Jacket water cooling
  • General water cooling

Steel Industry

  • B.O.F. cooling
  • Continuous caster water cooling
  • Coke oven by-product cooling
  • Benzene suppression
  • Oil cooling
  • Steam condensing
  • Quench water cooling
  • Waste water biological treatment temperature control

Other Industrial Applications

  • Furnace cooling
  • Hydraulic and lube oil cooling
  • Closed recirculating water cooling
  • Compressor jacket cooling
  • Evaporative condensers
  • Compressed air cooling
  • Process fluid coolers
  • Air cooled Condensers
  • Engine and hydraulic cooling


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