A Compact and Effective Vahterus Heat Exchanger is the Heart of a District Heating Network

Vahterus supplied a total of five heat exchangers to a heating plant constructed in 2015. The Vahterus heat exchangers help make the plant more efficient while reducing the plant’s carbon footprint and construction costs.

In 2014, Tampereen Sähkölaitos published a decision to invest in a heating plant to be built in the neighbourhood of Hervanta in Tampere, Finland. The plant is a district heating plant based on fluidized bed technology. The benefits of this technology include the option of using fuels with lower heating value, the most notable of which are timber-based forest processed chips, sawdust and bark. The Hervanta plant produces heat and domestic hot water for about 20,000 people. With the new plant, Tampereen Sähkölaitos wanted first and foremost to reduce the use of natural gas in district heat production and, as a result, also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Heat exchangers reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Heat exchangers can be used in a range of applications in heating plants to meet different needs. End users of heat exchangers using the Plate & Shell technology developed by Vahterus enjoy such benefits as long service life and maintenance-free operation.

Vahterus supplied a total of five heat exchangers of different sizes and capacities to the plant. The most important of the exchangers is the large, approximately 45 MW district heating heat exchanger located between the plant’s boiler water and district heating circuit. The four smaller exchangers represent the Compact range. Their applications include internal heat exchanger, bottom ash cooling exchanger, yard heating heat exchanger as well as washer condensate heat exchanger. The smaller heat exchangers are meant to boost the chip-fuelled plant’s own process and reduce the carbon footprint.

Reliable heat exchangers are ideal for heating plants

Vahterus heat exchangers are extremely reliable and ideal for high temperatures thanks to their tight and fully welded plate packs. If a fault happens in the plant, the plant’s boiler circuit may come down quickly, which strains sealed and soldered heat exchangers. Vahterus heat exchangers, however, require no sealants, so they are almost entirely maintenance-free.

Thanks to their reliable structure, several energy companies have chosen a Vahterus heat exchanger as the application to be placed between the boiler water and district heating circuit. Moreover, Vahterus heat exchangers can be installed directly into the process, eliminating the need for intermediate circuits.

Compact size packs a punch

Compared to tube heat exchangers, Plate & Shell heat exchangers are considerably smaller and require less space. As such, choosing Plate & Shell heat exchangers can bring the construction costs of the entire heating plant down. The 45 MW exchanger, which is the largest in the Hervanta plant, has already gained positive attention among the visitors to the plant.

- Our visitors have been impressed by the exchanger’s capacity in comparison to its size. It does, after all, take up very little space, says Kimmo Koivisto, the Operations Manager of Tampereen Sähkölaitos.