Based on the thermohydraulic calculation model verified in this study and Non-dominated Sorted Genetic Algorithm-II (NSGA-II), a multi-objective configuration optimization method is proposed, and the performances of shell-and-tube heat exchanger with disc-and-doughnut baffles (STHX-DDB) and shell-and-tube heat exchanger with segmental baffles (STHX-SB) are compared after optimization. The results show that, except in the high range of heat transfer capacity of 16.5–17 kW, the thermohydraulic performance of STHX-DDB is better. Tube bundle diameter, inside tube bundle diameter, number of baffles of STHX-DDB and tube bundle diameter, baffle cut, number of baffles of STHX-SB are chosen as design parameters, and heat transfer capacity maximization and shell-side pressure drop minimization are considered as common optimization objectives. Three optimal configurations are obtained for STHX-DDB and another three are obtained for STHX-SB. The optimal results show that all the six selected optimal configurations are better than the original configurations. For STHX-DDB and STHX-SB, compared with the original configurations, the heat transfer capacity of optimal configurations increases by 6.26% on average and 5.16%, respectively, while the shell-side pressure drop decreases by 44.33% and 19.16% on average, respectively. It indicates that the optimization method is valid and feasible and can provide a significant reference for shell-and-tube heat exchanger design.
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