Spiral heat exchanger solves costly fouling problems

A major US refinery was experiencing severe fouling and plugging problems in two shell-and-tube heat exchangers installed to cool desalter effluent using cooling water. In 2008, on Alfa Laval's recommendation, the refinery replaced the two shell-and-tubes with a fouling resistant spiral heat exchanger. The result exceeded expectations.

DATE 2023-11-28

The spiral heat exchanger gives continuous problem-free operation, higher process reliability and more consistent wastewater treatment temperatures than the shell-and-tubes. Best of all, there has been no plugging and, based on savings in maintenance and cleaning costs alone, the payback time was less than 18 months. The on-site engineers were delighted! As one remarked: “I think the technology is great!”

Alfa Laval spiral heat exchangers






Alfa Laval spiral heat exchangers are designed to handle the toughest heat transfer challenges, such as frequent fouling from dirty media or limitations from pressure drop and floor space. 

More about Spiral heat exchangers 

Features and Benefits

  • Fully engineered to the needs of every customer
  • Self-cleaning effect reduces operating cost
  • Low maintenance cost due to easy access
  • Higher heat transfer efficiency than in shell-and-tubes
  • Unique ability to handle two highly fouling fluids