An analysis of the composition of the heat-exchange equipment at the petrochemical plants reveals that nominally more than 30% (and by weight about 50% of the total equipment) is heat-exchange equipment, including air-cooled units requiring replacement and reconstruction as a result of the end of their service life or corrosion erosion wear. Therefore, work aimed at improving the effectiveness of ABO is relevant. The existing problem of reducing the efficiency of air cooling in hot calm weather is compounded by the need for short-term humidification using a humidifier mounted directly behind the fan wheel when the air enters the diffuser. This dramatically increases the processes of corrosion and the formation of deposits on the surface of finned tubes (scale, fluff and dust). We have carried out a set of computational and experimental studies to evaluate the thermal efficiency of small-sized ABOs of various designs using a universal experimental industrial bench. The results of studies have established that vertical-cylindrical ABO designs are more energy-efficient and less metal-intensive compared to typical horizontal ones and allow for the influx of cold atmospheric air to the ABO inlet during the hot season.
Keywords: air cooler; heat transfer coefficient; thermal efficiency; design of a vertical cylindrical air-cooling apparatus; involute profile layout