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Heat Requirement Calculations

There are two basic heat energy requirements to be considered in the sizing of heaters for a particular
application.

1. Start-Up Heat is the heat energy required to bring a 2. Operating Heat is the heat energy required to maintain
process up to operating temperature. Start-up heat the desired operating temperature through normal work
requirement calculations which include a material cycles. The larger of these two heat energy values will be
change of state should be calculated in three parts: the wattage required for the application.
1) Heat requirement from ambient temperature to A safety factor is usually added to allow for unknown or
change of state temperature unexpected operating conditions. The safety factor is
2) Heat requirement during change of state (latent heat) dependent on the accuracy of the wattage calculation. A
3) Heat requirement from change of state temperature to figure of 10% is adequate for small systems closely
operating temperature calculated, while 20% additional wattage is more
common, and figures of 25% to 35% should be considered
for larger systems with many unknown conditions
existing.
Start-Up Heat requirements will include one or more of the following seven (7) calculations, depending on the
application.

1. Wattage required to heat material:


Weight of material (lbs) x Specific Heat (Btu/lb °F) x Temperature rise (°F)
= Watts
3.412 btu/watt hr. x Heat-up time (hr.)
2. Wattage required to heat container or tank:
Weight of container (lbs) x Specific Heat (Btu/lb °F) x Temperature rise (°F)
= Watts
3.412 btu/watt hr. x Heat-up time (hr.)
3. Wattage required to heat hardware in container:
Weight of hardware (lbs) x Specific Heat (Btu/lb °F) x Temperature rise (°F)
= Watts
3.412 btu/watt hr. x Heat-up time (hr.)
4. Wattage required to melt a solid to a liquid at constant temperature:
Heat of fusion (Btu/lb) x Weight of material to be melted (lb/hr)
= Watts
3.412 btu/watt hr.
Heat of Fusion (Latent Heat): The amount of heat required to change one
pound of a given substance from solid to liquid state without change in
temperature is termed the heat of fusion.
It requires 144 Btu to change one pound of ice at 32°F to one pound of water at
32°F, the heat of fusion of ice being 144 Btu per pound.
A change of state is usually accompanied by a change of specific heat. The
specific heat of ice is 0.5; while that of water is 1.0.
5. Wattage required to change a liquid to a vapor state at constant
temperature.
Heat of vaporization (Btu/lb) x Weight of material to be vaporized (lb/hr)
= Watts
3.412 btu/watt hr.
Heat of Vaporization (Latent Heat): The amount of heat required to change
one pound of a given substance from liquid to vapor state without change in
temperature is termed the heat of vaporization.
It requires 965 Btu to change one pound of water at 212°F to one pound of steam
at
212°F.
6. Wattage to counteract liquid surface losses:
Total liquid surface area (sq. ft.) x Loss rate at final temperature (watts/sq. ft.)
= Watts
2
7. Wattage to counteract surface losses from container walls, platen surfaces,
etc.
Total surface area (sq. ft.) x Loss rate at final temperature (watts/sq. ft.)
= Watts
2
Operating heat requirements will include one or more of the following four (4)
calculations.
Any additional losses particular to the application should also be estimated and
included.
1. Wattage to counteract losses from open liquid surfaces.
Total liquid surface area (sq. ft.) x Loss rate at operating temperature (watts/sq.
= Watts
ft.)
2. Wattage to counteract container or platen surface losses.
Total surface area (sq. ft.) x Loss rate at operating temperature (watts/sq. ft.) = Watts
3. Wattage required to heat material transferred in and out of the system.
(Metal dipped in heated tanks, air flows, make-up liquids, etc.)
Weight of material to be heated (lbs) x Specific Heat (Btu/lb °F) x Temperature
rise (°F) = Watts
3.412 btu/watt hr. x Heat-up time (hr.)
4. Heat-up of racks of containers, etc. transferred in and out of the system:
Weight of items to be heated (lbs) x Specific Heat (Btu/lb °F) x Temperature rise
(°F) = Watts
3.412 btu/watt hr. x Heat-up time (hr.)
Specific Heat: The heat necessary to increase the temperature of all other
substances has been referred to water as a standard. The ratio of the amount of
heat required to increase the temperature of one pound of any substance by one
degree to the amount necessary to increase one pound of water is known as the
specific heat of that substance.
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:

h= delta Q/ A* dalta T* delta t

where

∆Q = heat input or heat lost, J


h = heat transfer coefficient, W/(m2K)
A = heat transfer surface area, m2
∆T = difference in temperature between the solid surface and surrounding fluid area, K
∆t = time period, s
From the above equation, the heat transfer coefficient is the proportionality coefficient between the heat
flux, Q/(A∆t), and the thermodynamic driving force for the flow of heat (i.e., the temperature difference,
∆T).

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).

The Heat Exchanger Equation

The basic heat exchanger equation is Q = U A ∆Tlm, where

Q is the rate of heat transfer between the two fluids in the heat exchanger in But/hr,

U is the overall heat transfer coefficient in BTU/hr-ft2-oF,

A is the heat transfer surface area in ft2,

and ∆Tlm is the log mean temperature difference in oF, calculated from the inlet and outlet
temperatures of both fluids.

For heat exchanger design, the basic heat exchanger equation can be used to calculate the required heat
exchanger area for known or estimated values of the other three parameters, Q, U, and ∆Tlm. Each of
those parameters will now be discussed briefly.
Log Mean Temperature Difference

The driving force for any heat flow process is a temperature difference.
For a heat exchanger, there are two fluids involved, with the temperatures of both changing as

they pass through the heat exchanger, so some type of mean


temperature difference is needed. Many heat transfer textbooks have a derivation showing that
the log mean temperature difference is the right mean temperature to use for heat exchanger
calculations. That log mean temperature is defined in terms of the temperature differences as
shown in the equation at the right. THin and THout are the inlet and outlet temperatures of the hot
fluid and TCin and TCout are the inlet and outlet temperatures of the cold fluid. Those four
temperatures are shown in the diagram at the left for a straight tube, two pass shell and tube
heat exchanger with the cold fluid as the shell side fluid and the hot fluid as the tube side fluid.

Heat Transfer Rate, Q

Heat exchanger calculations require a value for the heat transfer rate, Q, which can be
calculated from the known flow rate of one of the fluids, its heat capacity, and the required
temperature change. Following is the equation to be used:

Q = mH CpH (THin - THout) = mC CpC (TCout - TCin), where

mH = mass flow rate of hot fluid, slugs/hr,

CpH = heat capacity of the hot fluid, Btu/slug-oF

mC = mass flow rate of cold fluid, slugs/hr,

CpC = heat capacity of the cold fluid, Btu/slug-oF,

and the temperatures are as defined in the previous section.

The required heat transfer rate can be determined from known flow rate, heat capacity and
temperature change for either the hot fluid or the cold fluid. Then either the flow rate of the
other fluid for a specified temperature change, or the outlet temperture for known flow rate and
inlet temperature can be calculated.
Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient, U

The overall heat transfer coefficient, U, depends on the conductivity through the heat transfer

wall separating the two fluids, and the convection coefficients on both
sides of the heat transfer wall. For a shell and tube heat exchanger, for example, there would
be an inside convective coefficient for the tube side fluid and an outside convective coefficient
for the shell side fluid. The heat transfer coefficient for a given heat exchanger is often
determined empirically by measuring all of the other parameters in the basic heat exchanger
equation and calculating U. Typical ranges of U values for various heat exchanger/fluid
combinations are available in textbooks, handbooks and on websites. A sampling is given in
the table at the right for shell and tube heat exchangers:

Summary

Preliminary heat exchanger design to estimate the required heat exchanger surface area can
be done using the basic heat exchanger equation, Q = U A ∆Tlm, if values are known or can be
estimated for Q, U and ∆Tlm.