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Compact Tube Heat Exchangers

Shell and tube heat exchangers in a compact form

We build our compact tube heat exchangers within a shell but utilise compact fin technology on the outer surface of the tube, substantially reducing its size.

These units have a smaller footprint and weigh less. We can build these with less material (especially useful in equipment requiring expensive materials to increase corrosion resistance or other properties). They’re a highly effective, compact form of shell and tube heat exchanger.


How compact tube heat exchangers work

A compact tube design aims to optimise the heat transfer rate allowing for smaller heat transfer areas. We achieve this by using fins where the shell side fluid flow and heat transfer properties would not usually generate a high heat transfer coefficient.

Find out more about finned tubes or our shell and tube heat exchangers.

Compact shell and tube heat exchanger applications

The most common application for this product is the cooling of gases at a pressure in the region of 5 to 10 bar. High-pressure blowers generate significant heat as the gas is compressed and must be cooled before moving to the next process stage. Using fins, the achieved heat transfer increase means that we can reduce the overall unit’s diameter and/or length without a reduction in performance.

Benefits of choosing compact tube heat exchangers from Sterling Thermal Technology

1. Addressing your process needs

Every application is different. We design compact heat exchangers to your specifications that take into account the particulars of your system. Our focus is on designing and delivering a bespoke product that meets all your requirements.  

2. Optimised design

By drawing on decades of experience and cutting-edge advancements in heat exchanger engineering, we can get the maximum performance from compact tube heat exchangers in most scenarios. Our designs are bespoke to each application, ensuring the best performance possible.

3. Flexible

With a wide range of materials and design methods available, we can be agile and flexible in our design process.

Our experts have an intimate understanding of a wide range of industries. Are you looking for a partner in compact heat exchanger technology? Don’t hesitate to contact us and tell us your needs.

Compact heat exchanger design considerations

We ensure the optimum heat transfer while considering the corrosion potential of the shell side fluid. How? By matching the fin and tube materials.

We can minimise the cooler footprint and ensure optimum utilisation of the available pressure drop. We do so by adjusting tube sizes, layout, pitch and passes accompanied with fin density, in parallel with shell-side flow passes, and appropriate baffle type and arrangement selection.

Systems that involve a high-pressure gas stream, using a liquid as the coolant, would not usually be able to generate a high heat transfer coefficient. Traditionally, they would have to be larger or settle for a less efficient process. However, in these cases, the optimised fin design in our compact tube heat exchangers may be a great improvement.

We offer a full range of TEMA shell and tube configurations and are happy to discuss process parameters in detail. We will agree with you on the best solution that addresses your application.

Though heat exchangers can be complex, our experts can make the process easy. Ready to discuss your compact heat exchanger needs? Contact us today.


Customised heat exchangers

Over 100 years of design & manufacturing knowledge

Your partner for the entire lifecycle of your business

Space is at a premium for our applications and we know that Sterling Thermal Technology has the in-house knowledge to optimise the space envelope for the equipment. Their technologies give them a flexible approach to material combinations ensuring they always have an appropriate solution to meet our needs.



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We customise our heat exchange solution to meet your requirements, so contact us today to discover the right equipment for you.

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