I recently took a quiz from POWER magazine that asked the following question:

In a typical cooling system for lubricant oil in a gas turbine, which configuration is preferred to prevent leaks and contamination?

There is no clarification about what we are preventing leaks or contamination to or the type/size of the gas turbine, but their "correct" answer was to put cooling water on the tube side and oil lubricant on the shell side. They did not provide any further explanation.

I don't see why this would be the preference. There are more consequences of the water contaminating the oil, so you should put the higher pressure oil through the tube so if there is a leak oil leaks into the water. Plus, if the oil goes on the shell side and is higher pressure, the exchanger will cost more because there is more material that needs to be able to withstand a higher pressure. Lastly, I would assume oil will be more prone to contaminants than water and more fouling will occur on the oil side. Thus, you ought to put the oil in the tube for maintenance purposes as well. Am I missing something here or did they select the wrong answer?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would have said oil on the tube side. $\endgroup$
    – paparazzo
    Jan 20 '18 at 20:28

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