Keep your equipment operational with Klaren International’s self-cleaning heat exchanger technology. Vertical shell and tube heat exchangers operate with a clean surface, due to the application of a fluidized bed of solid particles. Conventional heat exchangers have the problem of severe fouling in the tubes. This can happen in just a matter of hours in severe cases. With the solid particles of our innovative self-cleaning heat exchanger technology, solid particles will be continuously cleaning the walls of the heat exchanger tubes with a mild scouring effect. These solid particles have diameters of 1.6 to 4 mm and consist of glass, ceramic or metal. A constant heat transfer coefficient is maintained by cleaning the heat exchanger tubes at an early stage of formation. Moreover, these particles reduce pressure drop compared to conventional heat exchangers and enhance the heat transfer at lower liquid velocities. When the rate of removal of deposits by the particles exceeds the rate of precipitation of deposits, zero-fouling is guaranteed.

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How does the self-cleaning heat exchanger technology work?

The cleaning principle of the heat exchanger tubes is an ongoing cycle. It is based on the circulation of solid particles through the tubes of a vertical shell and tube heat exchanger. First, the fouling fluid flows up through the heat exchanger tube bundle and passes through the inlet and outlet channels. These channels are specially designed for this process. Second, the solid particles are fed to the fluid using a distribution system in the inlet channel. This happens to ensure consistent division of particles over all the tubes. The particles are then fluidized by the upward flow of liquid to remove any deposit at the beginning of fouling formation. They create the mild scouring, cleaning effect on the wall of the heat exchanger tubes. Lastly, after the particles are detached and separated from the liquid by the tube bundle, they move to the inlet channel through an external downcomer. After this, the cycle is repeated.

To control the amount of particles fed to the inlet, a part of the inlet flow to the heat exchanger is used to push the particles from the downcomer into the inlet channel. Changing the amount of particles is one of the parameters to influence the cleaning mechanism. Other parameters are particle size and material and the fluid velocity.

With this technology, fouling or clogging of heat exchangers can be prevented or minimized. The fluidized bed effectively handles many types of fouling including scaling, whether hard or soft, originating from biological, crystallization, chemical or particulate fouling mechanism, or a combination of these. A wide variety of fluids can be handled ranging from aqueous solutions to oils and slurries.

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