The Engineering Mindset’s video, Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger basics explained, illustrates the design and operation of the shell and tube heat exchanger. As the name suggests, a heat exchanger transfers heat from one fluid to another, typically by having one fluid encased in tubes surrounded by a second fluid. Because the fluids are at different temperatures, heat transfers through the tube as one fluid heats up and the other cools down.
The video first describes the shell heat exchanger, a large tank with two main sections, a header, and a shell. One liquid flows into tubes that bend and loop inside the shell filled with a second fluid. As the tubes bathe, heat transfers from one liquid to the other before exiting the heat exchanger to, for example, cool a building or heat an industrial process.
The video goes on to show the same process-different design occurs with the tube heat exchanger, which has one tube inserted into another. One fluid flows through the inner tube, and a second flows through the outer tube, so heat transfers between the liquids. Tube heat exchangers have many configurations with different temperature profiles that better fit one application or another, such as dairies and oil refineries.