Double Pipe Heat Exchanger

Pipe Heat exchanger double pipe heat exchangers are the simplest exchangers used in industries. On one hand, these heat exchangers are cheap for both design and maintenance, making them a good choice for small industries. On the other hand, their low efficiency coupled with the high space occupied in large scales, has led modern industries to use more efficient heat exchangers like shell and tube or plate. However, since double pipe heat exchangers are simple, they are used to teach heat exchanger design basics to students as the fundamental rules for all heat exchangers are the same.

A double pipe heat exchanger, in its simplest form is just one pipe inside another larger pipe. One fluid flows through the inside pipe and the other flows through the annulus between the two pipes. The wall of the inner pipe is the heat transfer surface. The pipes are usually doubled back multiple times as shown in the diagram at the left, in order to make the overall unit more compact.

The term ‘hairpin heat exchanger’ is also used for a heat exchanger of the configuration in the diagram. A hairpin heat exchanger may have only one inside pipe, or it may have multiple inside tubes, but it will always have the doubling back feature shown. . Some heat exchanger manufacturers advertise the availability of finned tubes in a hairpin or double pipe heat exchanger. These would always be longitudinal fins, rather than the more common radial fins used in a crossflow finned tube heat exchanger.

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