UniSim Plate Heat Exchanger Modeler | HTRI

The Challenge

Plate Heat Exchangers are commonly used for the needs of heat transfer between medium and low pressure liquids where large heat transfer area is in demand. To identify optimized design of such heat exchangers and to know whether the existing plate heat exchangers in a production facility will meet the ever-changing manufacturing demand, are among the challenges heat exchanger designers and operators often face.

The Solution: UniSim Plate Heat Exchanger Modeler

Honeywell’s UniSim Plate Heat Exchanger Modeler is a specialized tool to help designers and operators overcome the challenges in dealing with plate heat exchangers, involving either gasketed plate and frame or welded or brazed plate. It helps users to determine the optimum heat exchanger configurations and to troubleshoot operating units with user-specified heat exchanger geometry.


UniSim Plate Heat Exchanger Modeler can be used for designing such equipment, evaluating their performance in an operation, and investigating whether an existing unit will meet the requirement of a specific production process. It helps users to minimize the capital/operational cost, improve engineering efficiency and therefore maximize their return on investment.


UniSim Plate Heat Exchanger Modeler has four calculation modes, providing specific capabilities based on the tasks being performed:

Design – To produce a set of possible designs to meet given heat load duty and pressure drop constraints and recommends the best option. Design calculations select from a set of 120 plate sizes, which are ‘typical’ of what is commercially available.

Checking / Rating – To determine whether a specified exchanger has adequate surface area to meet a user-specified thermal duty, and if specified stream pressure drops are exceeded.

Simulation – To determine the heat load, pressure changes and stream outlet conditions that will occur for a specific design with given stream inlet conditions. Allowance for nonlinear temperature profiles can be made as well as for variation in heat transfer coefficients and pressure gradients. The effect of maldistribution among the plates is also handled.

Extend (Design Specified Plate) – To determine the number of plates of a given geometry required to meet a user-specified duty, as well as pressure drop limits.

Wide Range of Applications

The program supports most types of plate heater exchanger with cross-corrugated plates and overall counter-flow between streams, providing a variety of built-in selections, including:

  • Gasketed plate heat exchangers
  • Frame plate heat exchangers
  • Heat exchangers with welded pairs of plates
  • Wall welded plate heat exchangers
  • Brazed plate heat exchangers
  • Plates within a range of typical chevron angles from 30 to 65 degrees (to the horizontal)
  • Plates with different corrugation angles in alternate plates
  • Plate exchangers with single pass or up to five passes
  • A databank containing the geometry details for a range of plates
  • Proper handling of
    • Systems with single or two-phase streams, involving sensible heating or cooling, boiling or condensation, or any combination of these
    • Pure component or multi-component mixture systems
    • Non-Newtonian fluids
    • Process data imported from Process Simulator, such as UniSim Design, in the form of PSF file, generated by the simulator

User-Friendly Input and Output Functionalities

Users are guided through the data input process which is displayed through a hierarchy tree and very easy to follow. Graphic representations based on user-specified configurations further enhance the modeling experience of UniSim Plate Heater Modeler users.

The comprehensive output highlights useful information, such as:

  • Recommended design and listing of considered designs
  • Exchanger layout drawing
  • Summary of exchanger performance
  • Details of pressure drops and hold-ups
  • Stream conditions at inlet and outlet to each pass
  • Stream conditions along the exchanger 
  • Ratio of actual to required area
  • Summary of likely maldistribution effects
  • Heat balance for exchanger

UniSim® is a registered trademark of Honeywell International Inc.