The second law quality of energy transformation in a heat exchanger

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63 Scopus citations


This paper presents the entropy generation (irreversibility) concept as a convenient method for estimating the quality-of the heat exchange process in heat exchanger analysis. The entropy generation caused by finite temperature differences, scaled by the maximum possible entropy generation that can exist in an open system with two fluids, is used as the quantitative measure of the quality of energy transformation (the heat exchange process). This measure is applied to a two-fluid heat exchanger of arbitrary flow arrangement. The influence of different parameters (inlet temperature ratio, fluid flow heat capacity rate ratio, flow arrangements) and the heat exchanger thermal size (number of heat transfer units) on the quality of energy transformation for different types of heat exchangers is discussed. In this analysis it is assumed that the contribution of fluid friction to entropy generation is negligible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1990


  • Heat exchangers
  • Thermodynamics and second law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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