1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Heat exchanger effectiveness

  1. Jan 30, 2013 #1
    I am designing a heat exchanger to be used in a house to circulate air from the outside. I have very basic knowledge on the subject and would appreciate any input. I have looked up various topics on the subject and am using "introduction to thermal and fluid engineering" by Kaminski. However after reading the procedure in calculations I am still unsure.

    I have decided on a counterflow heat exchanger with air to air properties.
    I know the volume of the house, and the air change rate is 3 times this per hour.
    I know the temperatures of Hot air in and Cold air in.
    I also know or have calculated Specific heat Capacity, Density and Mass Flow Rate.

    I have set my calculations up on a spreadsheet, however i am now stuck as some equations require Hot temperature out and cold temperature out.

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Those temperatures will depend on the efficiency of your heat exchanger (and maybe humidity).
    In the limit of perfect efficiency, they are equal to the temperatures inside/outside.

    Are you sure this is necessary?
  4. Jan 30, 2013 #3
    I don't know this specific book, but usually you will need to make an assumption on your heat exchanger like that it has a constant wall temperature at the contact surface, or a constant heat flux. You can then calculate the outlet temperatures. The book probably deals with these two cases for the heat transfer problem of a fluid flowing through a pipe or something.
  5. Jan 31, 2013 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You know one of the outlet air temperatures, because that is the air temperature you want inside the house. (You didn't say whether you are heating or cooling the house, so I don't know if that is your "hot" or "cold" outlet temperature).

    If the heat exchanger is operating at a steady state, you know the heat going into the exchanger = the heat coming out. So you can calculate the outlet temperature of the other air stream, from the mass flow rates and specific heats.

    Then you get to the hard part: actually designing a heat exchanger that exchanges the right amount of heat energy.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook