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2 Can be operated in a true counterflow pattern (most efficient flow pattern)

î The flow pattern through a heat exchanger affects the required heat exchanger
î J counterflow heat exchanger needs the lowest heat transfer surface area.
î at gives a higher value for log mean temperature difference than either a parallel
flow heat exchanger or a crossflow heat exchanger.
2 it will give the highest overall heat transfer coefficient for the double pipe heat exchanger
2 can handle high pressures and temperatures well
2 hen they are operating in true counterflow, they can operate with a temperature cross,
that is, where the cold side outlet temperature is higher than the hot side outlet
2 ½or example, in the diagrams in this section,
Ô Consider ½luid 1 to be the hot fluid and ½luid 2 to be the cold fluid.
Ô Then, in the counterflow diagram at the left, you can see that the cold side outlet
temperature, T2out, can approach the hot side entering temperature, T1in, which is
higher than the hot side outlet temperature, T2out.
Ô ½or the parallel flow shown at the right, T2out can only approach T1out; it could not
be greater.

›etermination of the heat transfer surface area needed for a double pipe heat exchanger
design can be done using the basic heat exchanger equation:

Q = UJ ǻTlm,


Q is the rate of heat transfer between the two fluids in the heat exchanger in Btu/hr,

U is the overall heat transfer coefficient in BTU/hr-ft2-o½,

J is the heat transfer surface area in ft2, and

ǻTlm is the log mean temperature difference in o½, calculated from the inlet and outlet
temperatures of both fluids.

These parameters in the basic heat exchanger equation are discussed in '½undamentals of
Heat Exchanger ›esign', and they are used in an example in 'Preliminary Heat Exchanger
›esign Example'. Jfter determination of the required heat transfer surface area, the diameter
and length of the inner pipe can be selected and then the diameter of the outer pipe. ½inally,
the length of the straight sections and the number of bends can be selected.


Heat exchanger design is a multi-step, iterative process made up of the following steps:

1. Calculate the heat transfer rate, Q, in Btu/hr, based on specified information about
fluid flow rates and temperatures.
2. ›etermine an estimated value for the overall heat transfer coefficient, U, based on the
fluids involved.
3. Calculate the log mean temperature difference, ǻTlm, using the inlet and outlet
temperatures of the two fluids.
4. Make an initial estimate of the heat transfer area required, using: J = Q/(U ǻTlm).
5. Choose a preliminary configuration for the heat exchanger and make necessary
calculations (e.g. number and size of tubes in a shell and tube heat exchanger or pipe
diameters and length for a double pipe heat exchanger).
6. Estimate the pressure drop across the heat exchanger. af it is too high or too low,
revise the configuration of the heat exchanger until the pressure drop is acceptable.
7. Make a more detailed estimate of the overall heat transfer coefficient, U, based on the
current configuration of the heat exchanger.
8. af the latest estimate of U is significantly different than the previous estimate, repeat
steps 4 through 7 as many times as necessary until the two estimates are the same to
the desired degree of accuracy.



The most widely used equation for frictional head loss or frictional pressure drop in pipe flow
(and the equation used in the Excel formulas in this article's spreadsheet templates) is the
›arcy eisbach equation:

hL = f(L/›)(V2/2g)

or in term of pressure drop:

ǻPf = ȡghL = ȡf(L/›)(V2/2),


hL = frictional head loss, ft-lb/lb

L = pipe length, ft

› = pipe diameter, ft

V = average flow velocity of fluid (= Q/J), ft/sec

g = acceleration due to gravity = 32.2 ft/sec2

f = friction factor, a dimensionless empirical factor that is a function of Reynolds Number

(Re = ›Vȡ/ȝ) and/or İ/›, where

İ = an empirical pipe roughness, ft

ǻPf = frictional pressure drop, lb/ft2

ȡ = fluid density, slugs/ft3

More details about the ›arcy eisbach equation, the parameters used in it, a table of pipe
roughness (İ) values for typical pipe materials, typical values for friction factor, f, and
equations and graphs for friction factor f as a function of Re and İ/› are available in the
article, "Pipe ½low Calculations 3: The ½riction ½actor & ½rictional Head Loss."

J counterflow heat exchanger has the hot fluid entering at one

end of the heat
exchanger flow path and
the cold fluid entering at
the other end of the flow
path. Counter flow is the
most common type of
liquid-liquid heat
exchanger, because it is
the most efficient. J double pipe heat exchanger is
usually operated as a counter flow heat exchanger, as
shown in the diagram
at the left. J picture of a double pipe heat exchanger is
shown at the right. The flow pattern in a shell and tube heat
exchanger with a single tube pass will be approximately
counterflow if it is long in comparison with its diameter.
Because of the baffles and the need to distribute the flow of
the shell side fluid over the cross-section of the shell, the
flow is not as close to counterflow in a shell and tube heat
exchanger as it is in a double pipe heat exchanger. The
bottom diagram on the left shows approximately counter
flow in a straight tube, one tube pass shell, and tube heat exchanger.

Each of the three types of heat exchangers (Parallel, Cross and Counter ½low) has
advantages and disadvantages. But of the three, the counter flow heat exchanger design is the
most efficient when comparing heat transfer rate per unit surface area. The efficiency of a
counter flow heat exchanger is due to the fact that the average T (difference in temperature)
between the two fluids over the length of the heat exchanger is maximized, as shown in
½igure 4 Counter ½low. Therefore the log mean temperature for a counter flow heat
exchanger is larger than the log mean temperature for a similar parallel or cross flow heat
exchanger. The higher log mean temperature of the counter flow heat exchanger results in a
larger heat transfer rate.

Counter flow, as illustrated in ½igure 4, exists when the two fluids flow in opposite
directions. Each of the fluids enters the heat exchanger at opposite ends. Because the cooler
fluid exits the counter flow heat exchanger at the end where the hot fluid enters the heat
exchanger, the cooler fluid will approach the inlet temperature of the hot fluid. Counter flow
heat exchangers are the most efficient of the three types. an contrast to the parallel flow heat
exchanger, the counter flow heat exchanger can have the hottest cold fluid temperature
greater than the coldest hot-fluid temperature.