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Choosing The Right Condenser

Aug. 09, 2022

Condensers remove heat to convert steam to liquid. Process condensers transfer heat from the process stream to the utility stream, usually air or water. Utility condensers transfer heat from the utility stream, usually steam or hot oil, to the process stream. Since most engineers consider the process to be conceptually important when naming equipment, the process condenser is usually the first thing that comes to mind.


In most cases, the condenser is a shell and tube (S&T) or air fin (AF) exchanger. an S&T unit may have processed condensation on either the tube side or the shell side. Condensation on the shell side is more common. Two factors drive this: pressure drop and the choice of cooling utility. Systems handling steam usually have a high volume flow rate. Placing steam on the shell side makes it simpler and cheaper to maintain a low-pressure drop. Corrosion issues when using cooling water are the most popular cooling utility, and the preference is almost always to place the water on the tube side.

Manufactured from imported parts, our Two-Stage Air Cooled Piston Condensing Unit ensures maximum output and acquires less space to meet the latest standards. Having Bitzer's two-stage semi-hermetic compressor, our piston condensing unit is highly reliable and of good quality. With the advanced cooling mechanism, this condensing unit is the only choice of all clients in the world.

Air Cooled Piston Condensing Unit

Air Cooled Piston Condensing Unit     

The choice of the most efficient condenser for a service depends on both process and non-process parameters.


Some points deserve special comments.

  • Proximity to temperature. Common S&T designs have temperature cross limits that prevent the process outlet temperature from being significantly lower than the utility outlet temperature. The approach to approaching temperature requires multiple shells to be connected in series in a process or special design. A sufficiently large AF exchanger can achieve close temperature approaches because the air entering the bottom of the AF exchanger cross-flows with the tubes.


  • Ventilation. Start-up usually requires air to be exhausted from the unit. In addition, even many full condensing processes may accumulate traces of non-condensable or a fault may introduce non-condensables into the system. the exhaust ducting of the AF exchanger is the simplest. With careful design, it is often possible to vent the S&T exchanger through shell-side condensation. Venting of S&T heat exchangers with tube-side condensation is difficult.


Air-Cooled Compressor Unit

 Air-Cooled Compressor Unit

  • Wide range of condensing mixtures. Phase separation can occur in a wide range of condensing mixtures. Once separated, the partially condensed vapor may no longer contain enough heavy material to continue condensing. This can lead to problems with shell and tube condensation in multi-pipe processes. All solutions to this require some combination of single-pass tube-side condensation or higher pressure drop on the shell side.


  • Unit cost. This includes the cost of the exchanger, structure, motor control, and utility piping inside the unit and its installation. Typically, the cost of an AF exchanger is usually higher than an S&T unit if the cooling tower is ignored.


  • Fire protection. Air fins near the ground are difficult to fireproof. Aluminum fins are easily damaged. In addition, tubes containing process fluids may be directly exposed to flames. If the altitude is high enough, this will no longer be a problem.


  • Total cost. This includes any cooling towers, water treatment, and any piping outside the unit boundaries. In general, most AF units have a low total cost if the area is available and the air temperature is suitable for the process.

Let us help you find the best condenser for your project. When you contact us, please provide your detailed requirements. That will help us give you a valid quotation.      

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