Shell and Spiral Heat Exchanger


This is a 3D model of a Large Spiral Heat Exchanger.

3D Model Annotations

Spiral Heat Exchanger

This type of heat exchanger is not as popular as the plate type, and shell and tube type heat exchangers, but it has still found application in several industries. It is compact, can handle multiple phases e.g. steam and water, multiple fluids, and is suitable for a wide range of pressure and temperature applications. Generally, this type of heat exchanger is used for larger heat exchanging requirements, with some units weighing more than 250 tons.


The fluid within the tubes is referred to as the tube-side fluid; the shell-side fluid surrounds the tubes. The tube-side and shell-side fluids are only separated by the tube material (stainless steel, aluminium alloy etc.). Thermal contact between the two fluids exists due to their proximity with each other, thus heat is transferred from one to the other. The large contact surface area between the tubes and shell-side fluid ensures a high heat transfer rate. Note that this type of heat exchanger may have more than a single tube-side fluid (this 3D model has three separate tube-side fluids).

Shell-Side Fluid Inlet

The shell-side fluid enters the heat exchanger and surrounds all the tubes. The shell-side fluid usually flows in a counter/contra direction to the tube side fluid, as this is the most efficient flow configuration for transferring heat.

Shell-Side Fluid Discharge

The shell-side fluid is discharged through this connection.

Tube-Side Fluid Inlet

The tube-side fluid enters through this connection. Notice that there are three separate tube-side fluid inlets, indicating that there are three separate tube-side fluids flowing into this heat exchanger.

Tube-Side Fluid Discharge

The tube-side fluid is discharged through this connection; one connection per tube-side fluid.

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