Shell-tube heat exchanger replacement in a synthetic rutile plant in Western Australia

Shell-tube heat exchanger replacement in a synthetic rutile plant in Western Australia

Initial situation

With over 60 years of experience in the mineral sands industry, our client gained great skills in exploration, development, mining and processing and Western Australia is the mineral processing hub for their operations. The station at Capel produces synthetic rutile, an upgraded ilmenite product, and also hosts the bulk of its metallurgical expertise.

The company approached HYDAC requesting a replacement for their current open cooling water circuit on their process air blower. At the time, the system used plant water for cooling and eventually blocked the oil coolers. They had specific requirements for this replacement: 3.3 m³/h cooling water required for a cooling water inlet temperature of 25°C, and a cooling water outlet temperature of 30°C.

Process blower station drawing

Process blower station drawing

The challenge here was that the existing shell-tube heat exchanger (circled in red below) was inefficient and required frequent repairs. Also, some of the cooling water pipes were old as well and required replacement.

Shell-tube heat exchanger

Shell-tube heat exchanger

Solution

HYDAC proposed an easier solution, which was to replace the shell-tube heat exchanger with a brand new air fan cooler. And, by using HYDAC’s Cool-IT! Software, HYDAC was able to easily size our AC-LN low noise series air cooler.

Check this link for more information on this software: 

https://www.hydac.com.au/products/cooling-systems/fluid-air/ac-ln/

HYDAC AC-LN9S/1.0/F/B/1/IBP3

HYDAC AC-LN9S/1.0/F/B/1/IBP3

The HYDAC AC-LN (Air Cooled Low Noise) cooler is perfect for areas where either oil or water-glycol is to be cooled with air. They are very flexible and can be adapted to various applications, thanks to their wide range of accessories and optional versions.

It is also possible to optimise the cooler’s airflow by using a more efficient axial fan and a variety of housing modifications. As a result, some models (series 2-14) can be especially efficient and quiet.

Our customer purchased the air fan cooler through a local WA distributor, as this distributor usually does all their onsite service work.

Results

The solution keeps its promises as feedback from the customers have been very positive. In fact, the cooler works so well that on cold mornings, it was getting too cold! So, HYDAC supplied an additional temperature bypass valve (IBT) to assist with the cold starts on the colder mornings.

New HYDAC AC-LN air fan cooler

New HYDAC AC-LN air fan cooler

New HYDAC AC-LN air fan cooler

New HYDAC AC-LN air fan cooler