Indonesia is the country with the largest source of coal in the world, one of the region in Tarahan, Sumatera. Many power plants in Indonesia use coal as its main source, one of them in Suralaya. Coal is used as the main source of power generation because it has a heat value and considerable power compared to other generating sources. In addition, the price is relatively cheap to be one consideration of usage. Coal distribution process from Tarahan to Suralaya using barge. The use of barges is still widely used because it can bring considerable capacity and cheap shipping prices compared with other transportation During the shipping process, there is often a fire on coal in barges that greatly affects the safety and quality of coal itself. There have been cases of coal barge fires due to the heat energy incurred by the coal itself. Spontaneous combustion often occur as a result of a pile of coal in barges that are directly exposed by the environment causing spontaneous fires in coal. Environmental factors such as air, temperature, weather, and humidity are very influential. This method to prevent the spontaneous combustion of coal in barges is using the U-tube heat exchanger that is installed on the barge sideboards. The purpose of this research is to have preliminary design and calculate pump capacity of the heat exchanger system in the barge with the consideration of the loading and unloading process of coal so as not to interfere with the work process. Ratio of thermal transfer influence occurring in coal to heat exchanger placement distance to determinate the placement of the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger dimension value uses the pipeline surface area ratio to the coal surface area directly exposed by the environment. The preliminary design drawings of the heat exchanger in the barge are provided. The test results showed the necessary heat exchanger pipe design and placement on the barge to prevent spontaneous combustion.