Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Alfa Unveils Energy-Saving Compabloc 120

Alfa Laval has launched its largest ever Compabloc welded compact heat exchanger, the Compabloc 120, to help plant operators reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions while increasing uptime. The all-welded Compabloc 120 can withstand pressures of up to 42 barg, which makes it suitable for a wide range of duties in industries such as oil and gas, refinery, power, petrochemicals, chemicals and pulp and paper. In many applications, a single Compabloc 120 will be able to replace one or more large shell and tube exchangers because of its superior performance; providing the same or greater capacity for a lower capital investment.

As an example, this could mean reducing the physical size of an interchanger by as much as 80 per cent. A combination of high turbulence and true counter-current flow offers maximum heat recovery that, in turn, provides energy savings, because energy can be recovered and recycled, reducing overall consumption. Liquids or vapours flow through channels between corrugated plates in the Compabloc, creating a high degree of turbulence in the media. This results in better heat transfer between the media. A counter-current flow enables crossing temperature programmes, where the cold fluid can be heated to temperatures very close to those of the hot fluid. The closer the temperature approach between two fluids, the more heat is recovered.

The Compabloc 120 contributes to improving the energy efficiency of customer processes, which also benefits the environment, since less steam (most commonly generated by fossil fuels) is required in the process. This, in turn, allows a reduction in CO2 emissions from the plant. The Compabloc 120's low hold-up volume is claimed to provide more precise process control and efficiency compared to shell-and-tube technology. High channel turbulence also means less fouling, less maintenance and, as a result, more uptime, which in turn raises plant capacity. The removable frame of the Compabloc 120 and its accessible plate channels, which can be cleaned by hydroblasting, make it easy and fast to clean.

It can also be cleaned in-line, using cleaning-in-place (CIP) equipment and detergents. In some low-fouling duties, routine cleaning might not be necessary. The Compabloc 120's small footprint yet high capacity means that a single Compabloc 120 can replace one or several large shell-and-tube heat exchangers. Consequently, the overall cost of maintenance and installation is reduced. Where corrosion resistance is a priority and exotic materials are needed, the compact design reduces the capital cost because less material is required for its construction.

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