Vahterus, located in south-west Finland, is one of the world’s leading innovators in plate and shell heat exchanger (PSHE) technology. Founded in 1990, the company has experienced very strong growth over the years, particularly within the energy sector.

PSHE technology is an ideal solution in many power applications due to the robust construction and small footprint.

This has significant impact on the layout and can also increase the operating efficiency for the power plant. Increased efficiencies are achievable based on PSHE accommodating greater surface area per unit volume compared with traditional technologies.

Plate and shell heat exchangers in the power industry

The plate and shell heat exchanger (PSHE) is the first of a new generation of heat exchangers developed by Vahterus. At the heart of the PSHE is a fully welded pack of circular plates, which is housed within an outer pressure vessel. PSHE combines the best features of pressure heat exchangers and the shell and tube exchangers, offering a durable, compact and gasket-free solution with high heat transfer, as well as high pressure temperature capabilities.

Vahterus provides plate and shell heat exchangers for various businesses in the power industry.
With their efficient heat transfer and high integrity, PSHEs made by Vahterus can improve energy efficiency for renewable power generation applications.
PSHEs can be customised to suit individual steam application needs.
The fully welded construction of Vahterus heat exchangers enables heat recovery from demanding applications.

Conceptually, PSHE can be considered a fully welded, high-integrity plate heat exchanger with no gaskets. Alternatively, it can be thought of as a generic alternative to the shell and tube heat exchanger, with approximately 25% of the footprint, displaying both space and weight benefits. Its advantages include:

  • No gaskets or brazing
  • High integrity / total containment
  • Strong and safe construction
  • Unique protection and resistance to thermal and pressure cycling
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Compact and low weight
  • Flexible construction
  • Proven, reliable technology
  • Low fouling
  • Minimal maintenance requirements
  • Close approach temperatures

Plate and shell heat exchangers for power plants, industrial steam and district heating applications

In power plants, district heating and industrial steam applications, Vahterus heat exchangers are proven as a mechanically strong and thermally efficient solution. PSHE is an ideal solution for new installations, retrofits and replacement of conventional technologies. It has also displayed environmental benefits for green energy applications, where customers have observed improved energy efficiencies and recovery/re-use of previous system energy losses.

Plate and shell / plate and ring heat exchangers

In traditional coal, oil or biomass-fired power plants, Vahterus plate and shell, as well as plate and ring heat exchangers (PRHE) are widely used for the following applications:

  • Steam condensers
  • Feedwater pre-heaters
  • District heating water heaters
  • Condensate coolers
  • Fuel oil heaters
  • Gas heaters and coolers
  • Vent condensers
  • Excess water heaters
  • Continuous blowdown heat recovery
  • Steam generators
  • Steam de-superheaters

Plate and shell heat exchangers for steam systems

Vahterus PSHEs provide many benefits when designing and operating steam systems. Using the compact and flexible shell construction, PSHE can be customised to suit individual steam application needs, providing powerful solutions to the specific requirements of any steam system. PSHE is easy to control on both the steam and condensate side; since the heat transfer is very efficient, the control is fast and accurate, based on the compact nature (small volume) of the exchanger.

Typical steam applications include:

  • Steam condensers
  • Dump / surface condensers
  • Steam generators / clean steam generators
  • Vent condensers
  • Thermal oil heaters
  • Condensate coolers
  • Process water / liquid heaters
  • CIP-water heaters

Efficient heat transfer solutions for the renewable power sector

PSHEs by Vahterus, with their efficient heat transfer and high integrity, can provide solutions to improve energy efficiency for alternative energy facilities. The fully welded construction of Vahterus heat exchangers permits heat recovery from very demanding applications, notably when processing aggressive chemicals. Specifically, Vahterus has experience in green energy systems, such as industrial heat pumps, landfill gas recovery, organic rankine cycle (ORC) and solar energy applications.