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# 2 / 44 CONVECT IVE HEAT TRANSFER

2.1 Introduction

Convective heat transfer occurs when a gas or liquid flows past a solid surface whose
temperature is
different from that of the fluid. Examples include an organic heat-transfer fluid flowing
inside a pipe
whose wall is heated by electrical heating tape, and air flowing over the outside of a tube
whose wall
is chilled by evaporation of a refrigerant inside the tube. Two broad categories of
convective heat
transfer are distinguished, namely, forced convection and natural (or free) convection. In
forced
convection, the fluid motion is caused by an external agent such as a pump or blower. In
natural
convection, the fluid motion is the result of buoyancy forces created by temperature
differences
within the fluid.
In contrast to conductive heat transfer, convective heat-transfer problems are usually
solved by
means of empirical correlations derived from experimental data and dimensional analysis.
The
reason is that in order to solve a convection problem from first principles, one must solve
the
equations of fluid motion along with the energy balance equation. Although many
important results
have been obtained by solving the fundamental equations for convection problems in
which the flow
is laminar, no method has yet been devised to solve the turbulent flow equations entirely
from first
principles.
The empirical correlations are usually expressed in terms of a heat-transfer coefficient, h,
which
is defined by the relation:
q = hA_T (2.1)
In this equation, q is the rate of heat transfer between the solid surface and the fluid, A is
the area
over which the heat transfer occurs, and _T is a characteristic temperature difference
between
the solid and the fluid. Equation (2.1) is often referred to as Newtons Law of Cooling,
even though
Newton had little to do with its development, and it is not really a physical law. It is simply
a definition
of the quantity, h. Note that the units of h are W/m2 K or Btu/h ft2 F.
Equation (2.1) may appear to be similar to Fouriers Law of heat conduction. However, the
coefficient,
h, is an entirely different kind of entity from the thermal conductivity, k, which appears
as the constant of proportionality in Fouriers Law. In particular, h is not a material
property. It
depends not only on temperature and pressure, but also on such factors as geometry, the
hydrodynamic
regime (laminar or turbulent), and in turbulent flow, the intensity of the turbulence and
the roughness of the solid surface. Hence, the heat-transfer coefficient should not be
regarded
as a fundamental quantity, but simply as a vehicle through which the empirical methods
are
implemented.
From the standpoint of transferring heat, turbulent flow is highly desirable. In general,
heattransfer
rates can be ordered according to the mechanism of heat transfer as follows:

conduction < natural convection < laminar forced convection < turbulent forced
convection
The reason that turbulent flow is so effective at transferring heat is that the turbulent
eddies can
rapidly transport fluid from one area to another. When this occurs, the thermal energy of
the fluid
is transported along with the fluid itself. This eddy transport mechanism is much faster
(typically,
about two orders of magnitude) than the molecular transport mechanism of heat
conduction.
The heat-transfer correlations presented in this chapter are valid for most common
Newtonian
fluids. They are not valid for liqui