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Heat Transfer

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Heat Transfer

Heat and Temperature

Temperature is a measure of the amount of energy possessed by the molecules of a
substance. It is a relative measure of how hot or cold a substance is and can be used to
predict the direction of heat transfer. The symbol for temperature is T. The common
scales for measuring temperature are the Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin temperature

Heat is energy in transit. The transfer of energy as heat occurs at the molecular level
as a result of a temperature difference. Heat is capable of being transmitted through
solids and fluids by conduction, through fluids by convection, and through empty
space by radiation. The symbol for heat is Q. Common units for measuring heat are
the British thermal unit (Btu) in the English system of units and the calorie in the SI
system (International System of Units).

Modes of Transferring Heat

Heat is always transferred when a temperature difference exists between
two bodies. There are three basic modes of heat transfer:

 Conduction: involves the transfer of heat by the interactions of

atoms or molecules of a material through which the heat is being

 Convection: involves the transfer of heat by the mixing and

motion of macroscopic portions of a fluid.

 Radiation (or radiant heat transfer): involves the transfer of heat by

electromagnetic radiation that arises due to the temperature of a

Heat Flux
The rate at which heat is transferred is represented by the symbol . A common unit
for heat transfer rate is Btu/hr. Sometimes it is important to determine the heat
transfer rate per unit area, or heat flux, which has the symbol . Units for heat flux
are Btu/hr-ft2. The heat flux can be determined by dividing the heat transfer rate by
the area through which the heat is being transferred.

= heat flux (Btu/hr-ft2) (calorie / )
= heat transfer rate (Btu/hr) (calorie/sec)
= area ( ) (

Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient

In the case of combined heat transfer, it is common practice to relate the total rate of
heat transfer ( Q ), the overall cross-sectional area for heat transfer (Ao), and the
overall temperature difference (∆To) using the overall heat transfer coefficient (Uo).
The overall heat transfer coefficient combines the heat transfer coefficient of the two
Heat Transfer

heat exchanger fluids and the thermal conductivity of the heat exchanger tubes. (Uo)
is specific to the heat exchanger and the fluids that are used in the heat exchanger.

= the rate heat of transfer (Btu/hr) (calorie/sec)
= the overall heat transfer coefficient (Btu/hr - - ) (calorie / K)
= the overall cross-sectional area for heat transfer ( )(
= the overall temperature difference ( ) (K)

Conduction is the transfer of heat by the direct contact of particles of matter. It occurs
between two materials at different temperatures when they are touching each other.
Conduction can also occur through one material, if one part of the material is hotter
than another part. For example, a metal spoon placed in hot water quickly transmits
the heat to the hand.

Conduction heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy by interactions between

adjacent atoms and molecules of a solid.
Conduction involves the transfer of heat by the interaction between adjacent
molecules of a material.
Heat transfer by conduction is dependent upon the driving "force" of temperature
difference and the resistance to heat transfer. The resistance to heat transfer is
dependent upon the nature and dimensions of the heat transfer medium.

There are three different experimental models to study the heat transfer by conduction
 Linear Heat Conduction.
 Radial Heat Conduction.
 Extended surface heat transfer.

How is thermal energy transferred?

In solids the molecules and atoms vibrate in place, in liquids they move over and
around each other, and in gases they shoot around.
Heat Transfer

Collisions are occurring everywhere as atoms and molecules vibrate and zoom. All
these moving atoms and molecules have kinetic energy. When a warmer material
comes in contact with a cooler material. The atoms and molecules of the warmer
material are moving around faster than the atoms and molecules of the cooler
material. Where the two materials are in contact there are lots of collisions between
the atoms and molecules of each.

Conduction can take place in solids, liquids and gases. However, the more densely
packed atoms or molecules of a solid can conduct more heat because there are many
more collisions taking place. The low density of gases mean that relatively few
collisions take place per second therefore air is a poor conductor of heat. This
explains why many things we use to keep things warm or cold, such as foam, fiber
glass insulation and down jackets contain air pockets that slow down the transfer of

The rate of heat conduction through a medium in a specified

direction (say, in the x-direction) is expressed by Fourier’s law
of heat conduction for one-dimensional heat conduction as:


= heat flow vector (W).
K = thermal conductivity, a thermodynamic property of the
material. (W/m K)
A = Cross sectional area in direction of heat flow. (m2)
T = Gradient of temperature (K/m)
= ∂T/∂x + ∂T/∂y + ∂T/∂z

 Heat is conducted in the direction of decreasing temperature, and thus the

temperature gradient is negative when heat is conducted in the positive x-direction.

General Relation for Fourier’s Law of Heat Conduction

• The heat flux vector at a point P on the surface of the
figure must be perpendicular to the surface, and it must
point in the direction of decreasing temperature.
• If n is the normal of the isothermal surface at point P,
the rate of heat conduction at that point can be expressed
by Fourier’s law as:

Heat Transfer

Thermal conductivity in the building and manufacturing industries

Thermal conductivity is a measure of how well a material conducts heat. Although
solids in general are better conductors of heat than liquids or gases, each material
conducts heat at a different rate. We can compare thermal conductivities by
measuring how fast a certain amount of thermal energy flows through uniformly sized
pieces of various materials. Measuring the thermal conductivity of different materials
is important in the building and manufacturing industries. We don’t want hot air to
leave our home when it’s cold outside and we also don’t want hot air to enter our
home when it’s very hot outside. A home built with good insulators lessens heat
transfer in both directions.

Applications of conduction
o Trapping air as insulation.
o Different sensations from conductors and insulators.
o Uses of good conductors: cooking utensils.
o Uses of good insulators: table mats, handles.
Heat Transfer
Heat Transfer
Heat Transfer

An energy transfer across a system boundary due to a temperature difference by the
combined mechanisms of intermolecular interactions and bulk transport. Convection
needs fluid matter.
The convection heat transfer mode is comprised of two mechanisms, random
molecular motion and energy transferred by bulk or macroscopic motion of the fluid.
The convection heat transfer occurs when a cool fluid flows past the warm body. The
fluid adjacent to the body forms a thin slowed down region called the boundary layer.
The velocity of the fluid at the surface of the body is reduced to zero due to the
viscous action. Therefore, at this point, the heat is transferred only by conduction.
The moving fluid then carries the heat away. The temperature gradient at the surface
of the body depends on the rate at which the fluid carries the heat away.

Newton’s law of cooling expresses the overall effect of convection:

= heat flow from surface, a scalar (W)
A = surface area from which convection is occurring (m2)
= wall (surface) temperature
= fluid temperature.
h = convection heat transfer coefficient (which is not a thermodynamic property of the
material, but may depend on geometry of surface, flow characteristics,
thermodynamic properties of the fluid, etc.) (W/m2 K).

Convection heat transfer coefficient (h) strongly depends on the following fluid
 By decreasing dynamic viscosity, µ convection heat transfer coefficient can be
 By increasing thermal conduction, K convection heat transfer coefficient can
be increased.
 By increasing specific heat, Cp convection heat transfer coefficient can be
 By increasing fluid velocity, V convection heat transfer coefficient can be

Convection heat transfer coefficient also depends on: (Surface geometry, Surface
roughness, Type of fluid flow).

Types of convection heat transfer:

Convection heat transfer depends on how the fluid motion is initiated.
(i) Natural or free convection:
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In natural convection, any fluid motion is caused by natural means such as the buoyan
effect, which manifests itself as the rise of warmer fluid and the fall of cooler fluid.

(ii) Forced convection:

In forced convection, the fluid is forced to flow over a surface or in a tube by external
means such as a pump, blower, or a fan.

Heat transfer by convection is more difficult to analyze than heat transfer by

conduction because no single property of the heat transfer medium, such as thermal
conductivity, can be defined to describe the mechanism. Heat transfer by convection
varies from situation to situation (upon the fluid flow conditions), and it is frequently
coupled with the mode of fluid flow. In practice, analysis of heat transfer by
convection is treated empirically (by direct observation).

Convection heat transfer is treated empirically because of the factors that affect the
stagnant film thickness: (Fluid velocity, Fluid viscosity, Heat flux, Surface roughness,
Type of flow (single-phase/two-phase)

Applications of convection:
o Air con is usually placed at the top of a room.
o Heating coil of a kettle is usually at the bottom
o Formation of land and sea breezes
o Pipes, tubes, or some similar cylindrical device.
Heat Transfer

Radiant heat transfer is thermal energy transferred by means of
electromagnetic Waves or particles.
Radiant heat transfer involves the transfer of heat by electromagnetic
radiation that arises due to the temperature of a body. Most energy of this
type is in the infra-red region of the Electromagnetic spectrum although
some of it is in the visible region. The term thermal radiation is frequently
used to distinguish this form of electromagnetic radiation from other forms,
such as radio waves, x-rays, or gamma rays. The transfer of heat from a fire
place across a room in the line of sight is an example of radiant heat transfer.
Radiant heat transfer does not need a medium, such as air or metal, to take
place. Any material that has a temperature above absolute zero gives off
some radiant energy. When a cloud covers the sun, both its heat and light
diminish. This is one of the most familiar examples of heat transfer by
thermal radiation.

Radiation Facts

 Radiant heat transfer can be reduced or blocked by intervening

materials .
 Releases energy in all matter, above absolute zero. Hotter matter
releases more radiant energy than cooler matter.
 Rough surfaces absorb radiant heat very well, therefore are easily
heated by radiation. Smooth polished surfaces are usually good reflectors that
do not hold heat efficiently. Objects that absorb well often emit heat well.
Objects that reflect heat well often emit heat poorly.
 The rate at which heat is radiated by a body of surface area is strongly affected
by the distance between the radiator and the target area.
 Electromagnetic radiation propagated as a result in a temperature difference is
termed as thermal radiation.
 An ideal radiator is called a black body. A black body emits energy at a rate
proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature of the body and is
directly proportional to the surface area.
 No object is a perfect black body, thus it cannot radiate all the heat given to it.
To account for this “gray nature” we introduce a factor called emissivity. An
emissivity of one corresponds to a body which absorbs all radiations incident
upon it and reflects nothing. For solid and liquid surfaces, emissivity is
typically 0.8  0.2 for fire applications. For gases and flames, emissivity
depends on the thickness of the flame.

Black Body Radiation

A body that emits the maximum a mount of heat for it’s absolute temperature Is called
a black body. Radiant heat transfer rate from a black body to its surroundings can be
expressed by the following equation:
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=heat transfer rate (Btu/hr)
σ = Stefan- Boltzmann constant (0.174Btu/hr-ft2 -Fo4) (=5.669 x 10 – 8 W/m2K4)
A=surface area(ft2 )
T= temperature(F°)

Two black bodies that radiate toward each other have a net heat flux between them.
The net Flow rate of heat between them is given by an adaptation of Equation:

A=surface area(ft2 )
T1 =temperature of the first body (F°)
T2 =temperature of the second body(F°)

All bodies above absolute zero temperature radiate some heat. The sun and earth both
radiate Heat toward each other. This seems to violate the Second Law of
Thermodynamics, which states that heat cannot flow from a cold body to a hot body.
The paradox is resolved by the fact that each body must be indirect line of sight of the
other to receive radiation from it. Therefore, When ever the cool body is radiating
heat to the hot body, the hot body must also be radiating Heat to the cool body. Since
the hot body radiates more heat (due to its higher temperature) than the cold body, the
net flow of heat is from hot to cold, and the second law is still satisfied.

Real objects do not radiate as much heat as a perfect black body. They radiate less
heat than a black body and are called gray bodies. To take into account the fact that
real objects are gray bodies, the last Equation is modified to be of the following form:

ε =emissivity of the gray body (dimensionless).

Emissivity is simply a factor by which we multiply the black body heat transfer to
take into Account that the black body is the ideal case .Emissivity is a dimension less
number and has a Maximum value of 1.0.

Radiation Configuration Factor

Radiative heat transfer rate between two gray bodies can be calculated by this
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= is the shape factor, which depends on the spatial arrangement of the two objects
= is the shape factor, which depends on the emissivity of the two objects

The two separate terms and can be combined and given the symbol f. The heat
Between two gray bodies can now be determined by the following equation:

The symbol (f) is a dimensionless factor some times called the radiation configuration
factor, which takes into account the emissivity of both bodies and their relative
geometry. The radiation Configuration factor is usually found in a text book for the
given situation. Once the Configuration factor is obtained, the over all net heat flux
can be determined. Radiant heat flux should only be included in a problem when it is
greater than 20% of the problem.

Applications of radiation
o Teapots.
o The greenhouse.
o Color and texture of cloths.
o Skin cancer.
Heat Transfer

- Heat Transfer Textbook. 3rd ed. Lienhard IV, John H. and Lienhard V, John H
phlogiston press 2002.
- Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow Fundamentals Handbook.
- ocw.mit.edu/courses/aeronautics-and-astronautics/16.../10_part3.pdf