Alfa Laval Compabloc heat exchanger is compact and designed for optimum performance and serviceability across a broad spectrum of industrial process applications. Standard pressure range up to 42 bar.
The Alfa Laval Compabloc is a breakthrough plate heat exchanger design that combines a whole range of technological advantages into one compact unit. The all-welded plate pack does away with all gaskets between plates, and makes it possible to operate with a wide range of aggressive media and at high temperatures and pressures.
Corrugated plate patterns generate high turbulence that results in overall heat transfer coefficients three to five times greater than a shell-and-tube heat exchanger. In addition to minimizing fouling, this makes it financially viable to use corrosion-resistant exotic metals.
This makes the Compabloc perfect for heat recovery in corrosive operating environments and for handling aggressive, high-temperature fluids of all kinds. The compactness of this all-welded unit means it can be installed virtually anywhere – as a condenser or reboiler for distillation and stripping columns, as a condenser on top of reactors and in a wide range of other heat exchanger applications.
How it works
Welded plate heat exchanger working principles
Sitting at the core of every Compabloc is a stack of corrugated heat-transfer plates made of stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant materials, laser welded alternately to form channels.
The hot and the cold streams flow through alternate channels. Corrugated plates cause high turbulence, resulting in substantially higher heat transfer efficiency with a 50–80% smaller heat transfer area than comparable shell-and-tubes. Flow turbulence also reduces the build-up of fouling. The Compabloc’s unique plate design eliminates dead zones in the heat exchanger.
The two flows in a Compabloc can be configured as single pass, or as multiple pass by using baffles. The number of passes on the hot and cold side can be chosen independently, making it possible to optimize heat transfer even if flow rates on the different sides differ greatly. This unique flexibility means the Compabloc is always optimized for exactly the required duty. The baffles are made to withstand full vacuum, and can be rearranged if design conditions are changed in the future.
Compabloc units have a counter-current flow and can operate with a crossing temperature program (in a single unit), where the temperature approach is as close as 3°C (5.4°F), maximizing energy recovery. The small size and light weight makes it possible to install Compablocs anywhere, for instance at the top of distillation columns or suspended from support structures.