Parametric CFD analysis of an EMbaffle Heat Exchanger

Francesco Perrone, Marco Brignone

EMbaffle Technology is a patented shell and tube heat exchanger technology, designed to improve performance and simultaneously reduce operating costs by reducing fouling losses and pressure drops. It is currently applied in several Oil&Gas and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) applications.
In the EMbaffle design the tubes are supported by expanded metal grids allowing a pure longitudinal flow pattern, so that dead zones are avoided and tube vibration does not occur. The open structure of the grid reduces the pressure drop while its shape increases turbulence and therefore the 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 was implemented by EMbaffle in collaboration with EnginSoft. ANSYS Workbench was used to build the model and ANSYS CFX as solver. The aim of this work is the understanding of the interactions among fluids, tubes and grids for different process media, operative conditions and geometric configurations.