Heat Transfer in a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger — Simulation Example


Hydroelectric power plants use the kinetic energy of water to produce electricity. The alternate current generated by the turbine is then converted to high voltage current by the plant transformers. These transformers heat up due to hysteresis losses, so a cooling system is needed to control the transformer temperature. Some transformers are immersed in oil and use the available water resource for their cooling systems. Shell and tube heat exchangers are used for their compactness. The oil heats up as it comes in contact with the transformer core. Then, the oil flows in the shell side, dissipates heat to the colder water flowing on the tubes side and finally gets pumped back into the transformer.


The objective of this simulation example is to analyze the heat transfer in a shell and tube heat exchanger configuration. The system would have hot oil flowing through the shell and cold water passing through the tubes.


Download the Mesh file required for setting up the simulation and associated Case & Data files here. Follow the instructions below to set up this simulation in Ansys Fluent starting with the mesh file. In case you face any issues setting up or running the simulation, please refer to the corresponding initial and final Case and Data files.

Results and Discussion

Let us now analyze the simulation results and understand the physics of heat transfer in a shell and tube heat exchanger.