Air cooled heat exchangers are found in many areas of oil and gas extraction and refining. Their low maintenance requirements and no need for cooling fluid give them the upper hand in many applications.
Air cooled heat exchangers can reduce the temperature of extracted oil and gas before onward processing. In areas where cooling water is at a minimum or unavailable fin fan style heat exchangers work well.
The air cooled heat exchangers also lend to cooling in the refinery process. Process fluid can be cooled to the desired temperature using nothing but ambient air, fans, application specific finned tube and space. The space element may be a single air cooled heat exchanger or an array of exchangers.
Modern technology has made air cooled heat exchangers more efficient. The thermal design principals are the same, efficiency has been gained in fan design and motors. New variable frequency fan motor have done away with variable pitch blades in direct drive applications. This allows motor control on the fly where pitch alteration would require the unit to be stopped, adjusted and restarted.
There was once a time where ACHE were painted before leaving the factory. This looked good and offered some protection from the elements but this protection was limited. Over time the paint would degrade and become an eye sore. Additional maintenance work was required to repaint or touch up these units. Today we galvanise. This treatment protects the ACHE for years and in many cases decades of operation. For when galvanising is insufficient, Spiro Gills has the ability to manufacture units in stainless steel for applications in corrosive environments.