# Heat transfer coefficient

The heat transfer coefficient, in thermodynamics and in mechanical and chemical engineering, is used in calculating the heat transfer, typically by convection or phase change between a fluid and a solid:

where q = heat flow in input or lost heat flow , J/s = W h = heat transfer coefficient, W/(m2K) A = heat transfer surface area, m2 ΔT = difference in temperature between the solid surface and surrounding fluid area, K From the above equation, the heat transfer coefficient is the proportionality coefficient between the heat flux that is a heat flow per unit area, q/A, and the thermodynamic driving force for the flow of heat (i.e., the temperature difference, ΔT). The heat transfer coefficient has SI units in watts per meter squared-kelvin: W/(m2K). Heat transfer coefficient is the inverse of thermal insulance. There are numerous methods for calculating the heat transfer coefficient in different heat transfer modes, different fluids, flow regimes, and under different thermohydraulic conditions. Often it can be estimated by dividing the thermal conductivity of the convection fluid by a length scale. The heat transfer coefficient is often calculated from the Nusselt number (a dimensionless number). There are also online calculators (http://www.heat-transferfluid.com/resources/heat-transfer-coefficient-calculator.php) available specifically for heat transfer fluid applications.

Contents
1 Derivation of Convective heat transfer coefficient 2 Convective heat transfer Correlations 2.1 Natural convection 2.1.1 External flow, Vertical plane 2.1.2 External flow, Vertical cylinders 2.1.3 External flow, Horizontal plates 2.1.4 External flow, Horizontal cylinder 2.1.5 External flow, Spheres 2.2 Forced convection 2.2.1 Internal flow, Laminar flow 2.2.2 Internal flow, Turbulent flow 2.2.3 Forced convection, External flow 3 Thom correlation 4 Heat transfer coefficient of pipe wall

Thermal Boundary Layer And because heat transfer at the surface is by conduction. A thermal boundary layer develops if the fluid free stream temperature and the surface temperatures differ. These two terms are equal.5 Combining heat transfer coefficients 6 Overall heat transfer coefficient 7 Thermal resistance due to fouling deposits 8 See also 9 References 10 External links Derivation of Convective heat transfer coefficient An understanding of convection boundary layers is necessary to understanding convective heat transfer between a surface and a fluid flowing past it. A temperature profile exists due to the energy exchange resulting from this temperature difference The heat transfer rate can then be written as. thus .

the following equation can be further improved. . NuL applies to all fluids for both laminar and turbulent flows. exact analysis of the boundary layer. forced convection for internal flow and forced convection for external flow.Rearranging. L is the characteristic length with respect to the direction of gravity. Nu. These empirical correlations are presented for their particular geometry and flow conditions. Making it dimensionless by multiplying by representative length L. The right hand side is now the ratio of the temperature gradient at the surface to the reference temperature gradient. approximate integral analysis of the boundary layer and analogies between energy and momentum transfer. Vertical plane Churchill and Chu correlation[1] for natural convection adjacent to vertical planes.This becomes the ratio of conductive thermal resistance to the convective thermal resistance of the fluid. these analytic approaches may not offer practical solutions to all problems when there are no mathematical models applicable. As such. As the fluid properties are temperature dependent. many correlations were developed by various authors to estimate the convective heat transfer coefficient in various cases including natural convection. While the left hand side is similar to the Biot modulus. Natural convection External flow. they are evaluated at the film temperature Tf . For laminar flows in the range of RaL < 109. Convective heat transfer Correlations Although convective heat transfer can be derived analytically through dimensional analysis. which is the average of the surface T s and the surrounding bulk temperature. otherwise know as the Nusselt number. .

Vertical cylinders For cylinders with their axes vertical. Yuge [3] has the following correlation. the gravitational constant g is replaced with g cosθ for calculating the Ra in the equation for laminar flow External flow.External flow. For a hot surface facing up or a cold surface facing down. The induced buoyancy will be different depending upon whether the hot surface is facing up or down.H. This represents the limit where boundary layer thickness is small relative to cylinder diameter D. T. The length is the ratio of the plate surface are to perimeter. The correlations for vertical plane walls can be used when External flow. for Pr≃1 and Forced convection . Horizontal plates W. Spheres For spheres. Churchill and Chu has the following correlation for 10 − 5 < RaD < 1012 External flow. If the plane surface is inclined at an angle θ. the expressions for plane surfaces can be used provided the curvature effect is not too significant. McAdams [2] suggested the following correlations. For a hot surface facing down or a cold surface facing up. Horizontal cylinder For cylinders of sufficient length and negligible end effects. When boundary layer flow is 60 laminar. the equations for vertical plane by Churchill and Chu may be used for θ up to o.

7 and 120.water) DH . the heat transfer coefficient between the bulk of the fluid and the pipe surface can be expressed as: where kw . For a liquid flowing in a straight circular pipe with a Reynolds number between 10 000 and 120 000 (in the turbulent pipe flow range). The accuracy of this correlation is anticipated to be ±15%. i. more than 50 diameters according to many authors[5]) or other flow disturbances. for a location far from the pipe entrance (more than 10 pipe diameters.Hydraulic diameter Nu .Di .thermal conductivity of the liquid (i.33 for cooling (wall cooler than the bulk fluid). External flow In analyzing the heat transfer associated with the flow past the exterior surface of a solid. This correlation is applicable when forced convection is the only mode of heat transfer. a mean Nusselt number can be calculated using the Colburn analogy. and when the pipe surface is hydraulically smooth. Various authors have correlated charts and graphs for different geometries and flow conditions.e.Nusselt number (Dittus-Boelter correlation) Pr . For Flow parallel to a Plane Surface. Laminar flow Sieder and Tate [4] has the following correlation for laminar flow in tubes where D is the internal diameter.[6] The fluid properties necessary for the application of this equation are evaluated at the bulk temperature thus avoiding iteration Forced convection. condensation. etc. the situation is complicated by phenomena such as boundary layer separation.Reynolds number n = 0.. μ_w is the viscosity at the tube wall surface temperature. when the liquid's Prandtl number is between 0. Turbulent flow The Dittus–Boelter correlation (1930) is a common and particularly simple correlation useful for many applications.Internal flow.Prandtl number Re . significant radiation.e. Internal flow.4 for heating (wall hotter than the bulk fluid) and 0. where x is the distance from the edge and L is the height of the boundary layer. there is no boiling.[7] Thom correlation . μ_b is the fluid viscosity at the bulk mean temperature.

K q is the heat flux. respectively. then the heat transfer coefficient for the pipe wall can be calculated as if the wall were not curved: where k is the effective thermal conductivity of the wall material and x is the wall thickness. The Thom correlation is for flow boiling of water (subcooled or saturated at pressures up to about 20 MPa) under conditions where the nucleate boiling contribution predominates over forced convection. then the wall heat transfer coefficient can be calculated using the following expression: where di and do are the inner and outer diameters of the pipe. heat transfer coefficients simply add: For two or more heat transfer processes connected in series. MPa Note that this empirical correlation is specific to the units given. the mean thermal conductivity is often used. Combining heat transfer coefficients For two or more heat transfer processes acting in parallel. Selecting to base the heat flux on the pipe inner diameter. and assuming that the pipe wall thickness is small in comparison with the pipe inner diameter. Heat transfer coefficient of pipe wall The resistance to the flow of heat by the material of pipe wall can be expressed as a "heat transfer coefficient of the pipe wall". The thermal conductivity of the tube material usually depends on temperature. MW/m2 P is the pressure of water. one needs to select if the heat flux is based on the pipe inner or the outer diameter. This correlation is useful for rough estimation of expected temperature difference given the heat flux:[8] where: ΔTsat is the wall temperature elevation above the saturation temperature. However. If the above assumption does not hold.There exist simple fluid-specific correlations for heat transfer coefficient in boiling. heat transfer coefficients add inversely:[9] .

For example.[10] The heat transfer coefficient is the heat transferred per unit area per kelvin. The areas for each flow will be different as they represent the contact area for each fluid side. The rate of heat transfer between the bulk of the fluid inside the pipe and the pipe external surface is: where q = heat transfer rate (W) h = heat transfer coefficient (W/(m2·K)) t = wall thickness (m) k = wall thermal conductivity (W/m·K) A = area (m2) ΔT = difference in temperature. Overall heat transfer coefficient The overall heat transfer coefficient U is a measure of the overall ability of a series of conductive and convective barriers to transfer heat. for example when heat transfer takes place by different routes in parallel): where R = Resistance(s) to heat flow in pipe wall (K/W) Other parameters are as above. It is commonly applied to the calculation of heat transfer in heat exchangers. For the case of a heat exchanger. Thus area is included in the equation as it represents the area over which the transfer of heat takes place. It can be calculated as the reciprocal of the sum of a series of thermal resistances (but more complex relationships exist. U can be used to determine the total heat transfer between the two streams in the heat exchanger by the following relationship: q = UAΔT LM where q = heat transfer rate (W) U = overall heat transfer coefficient (W/(m²·K)) A = heat transfer surface area (m2) ΔTLM = log mean temperature difference (K) The overall heat transfer coefficient takes into account the individual heat transfer coefficients of each stream and the resistance of the pipe material. but can be applied equally well to other problems. consider a pipe with a fluid flowing inside. .

R f = thermal resistance due to fouling. This is commonly applied in practice. e.h = 500 to 10.000 W/(m2K) Thermal resistance due to fouling deposits Surface coatings can build on heat transfer surfaces during heat exchanger operation due to fouling.The thermal resistance due to the pipe wall is calculated by the following relationship: where x = the wall thickness (m) k = the thermal conductivity of the material (W/(m·K)) A = the total area of the heat exchanger (m2) This represents the heat transfer by conduction in the pipe. As mentioned earlier in the article the convection heat transfer coefficient for each stream depends on the type of fluid. They can also be evaluated from the development of the overall heat transfer coefficient with time (assuming the heat exchanger operates under otherwise identical conditions). . Some typical heat transfer coefficients include: Air .[11] The following relationship is often used: = where Uexp = overall heat transfer coefficient based on experimental data for the heat exchanger in the "fouled" state.) The additional thermal resistance due to fouling can be found by comparing the overall heat transfer coefficient determined from laboratory readings with calculations based on theoretical correlations.h = 10 to 100 W/(m2K) Water . The thermal conductivity is a characteristic of the particular material. Values of thermal conductivities for various materials are listed in the list of thermal conductivities.g. flow properties and temperature properties. Upre = overall heat transfer coefficient based on calculated or measured ("clean heat exchanger") data. (Fouling can also cause other problems. These add extra thermal resistance to the wall and may noticeably decrease the overall heat transfer coefficient and thus performance.