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The flue gas temperature profile at the center and bottom planes.
  
From:
Application: CFD Helps Increase Hot Oil Heater Output
Posted Mon June 17, 2002 @05:16PM
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Application Computer simulation helped increase the output of a hot oil heater by 20%. The challenge was to increase the thermal output of the heater without causing the tubes that carry the oil to rise to such a high temperature that they or the oil would be damaged. Refinery engineers ran experiments that demonstrated that the existing burner layout in the heater would indeed overheat the tubes if run at the higher levels required to implement the desired production increase. Without simulation, the only viable option would have been to build and test a scale model of the heater, which would have been expensive and would not have provided much information as to what was happening inside. Instead, engineers used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to analyze the flow within the heater, providing a clear understanding of the problem and making it relatively easy to find a solution. CFD helped us zero in on the offending flow pattern which turned out to be an inversion of flue gas in the middle of the radiant chamber, pushing the flame towards the tubes. said Jack Deng, Chief Technologist for Petro-Chem, New York, New York. Once we understood the problem, we changed the burner configuration to break up the flue gas recirculation patterns, and straighten the flames.

Petro-Chem is a privately held international organization providing design, engineering, development, fabrication and erection of direct fired heaters and heater accessories in the hydrocarbon processing, chemical processing and energy industries.

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