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Effectiveness Concept for Heat Exchangers

The Design Equation for a Heat Exchanger Q H = UA T 2 T 1 ln T 2 T 1 = UAT lm

A typical problem in the analysis of a heat exchanger is the Performance calculation. That is, we are asked , given inlet conditions to evaluate how the exchanger performs, that is what are the outlet temperatures. With the equation given above, the solution may be reached only by trial-and-error.

An alternate approach lies in the notion of exchanger effectiveness, E.

E =

actual heat transfer maximum possible heat transfer

Overall Energy Balance

The actual heat transfer is given by the energy balance

(wCp T)hot = (wCpT)cold

The maximum possible temperature rise is the difference between the temperatures of the two entering streams (Thin - Tcin). Which fluid undergoes the maximum temperature rise ? Of course, it is the one with the least heat capacitance

(wCp)min (T)max = (wCp)max (T)min

It follows then that

Qmax = (wCp)min (Thin - Tcin )max

Lecture 21 ChE 333

Definitions of Effectiveness
For the Double-Pipe Heat Exchanger there are four possible cases: Hot Fluid minimum Cold Fluid minimum Co-Current Case 1 Case 2 Counter-Current Case 3 Case 4

Case 1- Co-Current flow, hot fluid minimal E = wC p


Th1 Th2

wC p h Th1 Tc1

Th1 Th2 Th1 Tc1

Case 2- Co-Current flow, cold fluid minimal wC p c Tc2 Tc1 wC p c Th1 Tc1 Tc2 Tc1 Th1 Tc1

E =

Case 3- Counter-Current flow, hot fluid minimal E = wC p


Th1 Th2

wC p h Th1 Tc2

Th1 Th2 Th1 Tc2

Case 4- Counter-Current flow, cold fluid minimal E = wC p c Tc1 Tc2 wC p c Th1 Tc2 = Tc1 Tc2 Th1 Tc2

Lecture 21 ChE 333

Number of Transfer Units

Recall the definition of the ratio of thermal capacitances

R =

WC p WC p

c h

Cc T Th2 = h1 Tc2 Tc1 Ch

Also we can reexamine the Design Equation and rewrite it in the following form:


Th2 Tc2 Th1 Tc1

= UA 1 + R Cc

Th2 Tc2 Th1 Tc1

= e

UA 1 + R Cc

We need to express this temperature ratio in terms of the effectiveness, E. A good deal of algebra leads for Case 1 to
1+R E = 1 + e C 1 + R


For case 2 the equation is the relation is very similar and indeed would be the same if R were replaced by Rmin = Cmin /Cmax .
1+R 1 e C E = 1 + R min



Lecture 21 ChE 333

For case 3 and case 4, the equation can be expressed as a single relation.
1 R E = 1 e C UA 1 R 1 + R mine C
min min min



We can define a dimensionless group as the Number of Transfer Units (NTU)

NTU = UA C min
This whole concept can be extended to all kinds of exchanger configurations, e.g.,.shell and tube with n tube passes and one shell pass; a cross-flow exchanger.

Cross-flow Heat Exchangers

Types Example Mixed Un-Mixed Automobile radiator

Cross-flow Mixed/Unmixed Exchanger unmixed stream- minimal stream

E = R 1 exp R 1 e NTU
mixed stream- minimal stream

E = 1 exp R 1 e RNTU

Lecture 21 ChE 333

Unmixed/Unmixed Exchanger Cross-flow

E = 1 exp R NTU


exp R NTU


Lecture 21 ChE 333