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Avoid operating problems in air-cooled heat exchangers. R. Mukherjee. Hydrocarbon Processing, March 1997, 76(3), 69--76.

Guidelines are given for troubleshooting and performance evaluations of air-cooled heat exchangers with horizontal, A-frame, or vertical configurations. Tube bundles commonly consist of four to six rows of carbon steel or stainless steel tubes. Aluminium fins are invariably used because of favourable thermal conductivity and good cold-working properties. Various types of finned tube and header designs are described and illustrated. Tubeside operating problems discussed are flow maldistribution, single-phase and two-phase services, inadequate process cooling, and excessive fouling. Airside operating problems include high air inlet temperatures, hot air recirculation, inadequate air flow, incorrect selection of design ambient temperature, noise levels, and airside fouling. 8 refs.

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