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Air Cooled Heat Exchangers

Radiators, more correctly called Air Cooled Heat Exchangers (ACHE), are large pieces of equipment compared to other types of heat exchangers and require free space around them for the cooling airflow. Tube bundles (the core) configurations are positioned horizontally (with vertical airflow as shown), or can be arranged vertically (with horizontal airflow). Placement can be in front of the engine with an engine driven fan, or remotely with an electric motor driven fan. Typically the ACHE is mounted near the engine to minimize piping cost and pressure drop. Alternatively, it can be installed beyond a bulkhead, on a slab in front of a structure, or on a rooftop.

Where a long piping run is required, and if static head pressures are becoming too high, a plate and frame (or shell and tube) heat exchanger can be utilized to de-couple the engine cooling system from a long piping run.

Sutton Spiral Wound

Fin Tube

Sutton individual finned tubes are most commonly spirally wound aluminium strips around copper piping and have a high contact resistance. 

Sutton spiral wound fin tubes are silver brazed to tube extensions and steel header pipes on the header end. On the return end they are brazed to heavy wall copper return bends.

Individual fin-tubes are held in position by drawn headers in the tube sheets at both the header and return ends. This allows the tubes to expand and contract thermally, eliminating any thermal stress. Tube crossmembers along the length of the core provide additional support and structural strength.

This is one of the most significant design benefits of a Sutton spiral wound fin tube ACHE’s. This is because fatigue failure caused by internal thermal stress is the primary reason for non-damage related ACHE leaks.

Round Tube Plate Fin

High heat transfer copper round tubes with aluminum louvered plate fins. Tubes are mechanically expanded into self spacing fin collars for maximum heat transfer.

Type L copper headers are used for inlet and outlet with MPT steel connections that can be fitted with flanges for field connections. 3/8” FPT steel vent and drain connections are provided for each circuit.

Flat Fin Oval Tube

Flat fin oval tube radiators are what are found on a typical OEM factory engine mounted radiator. They provide efficient cooling and are well suited to being used in a square configuration with a single engine or electric motor driven fan. The core is produced from copper and brass with oval welded or lockseam tubes. Fin surfaces can have louvers for more cooling efficiency.

Serpentine Fin

Serpentine Fin construction radiators are what we most commonly see in transportation and can also be found on smaller generator engines.

These can be lower cost because of the light gauge aluminum or copper materials. They are also the most prone to leaks and have the shortest life of the construction types available.

Direct Drive Electric Motor

Direct drive fan motors are the preferred way to drive fans as this eliminates belts, bearings and other moving parts outside the motor. This design is free of maintenance apart from greasing at regular service internals and visual inspections for fouling.


The motors can be run:

•Full on/off

•Staged startup individually, or in banks

•Variable speed via VFD


Premium Duty NEMA frame electric motors are upgraded to Sutton Stromart specifications and have a 1.25 Service Factor (230-600V). Fans and motors are selected to operate below maximum rated capability to extend service life.

Standard Low Noise Fan

Standard low noise airfoil axial fans can be used in almost any air moving application. They provide a high volume air flow with low power consumption for optimum efficiency.

Ultra Low Noise Fan

Our ultra low noise fan blades are constructed from high grade aluminum alloy and have a cross section like that of an aircraft wing. Fans include adjustable blade angles and diameters. Vortex tips are used to further reduce fan noise an additional 2-3 dBA. The result is a fan that can be run down to the mid-60 dBA level at 25 feet with the use of VFD’s, low speed motors and/or belt drives.

Axial Panel Fan

This all-in-one axial fan has a motor that is integrated directly into the axial impeller forming a compact axial fan unit. Using 1-14 fans, these low power and high efficiency fans are easy to control in banks, provide a high level of redundancy and easy to replace in the field. Moreover, when equipped with EC motors, precision control of the air flow is possible.

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