The Concept of Irreversibility in Heat Exchanger Design: Counterflow Heat Exchangers for Gas-to-Gas Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Bejan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

J. Heat Transfer 99(3), 374-380 (Aug 01, 1977) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3450705 History: Received November 17, 1976; Online August 11, 2010


The thermal design of counterflow heat exchangers for gas-to-gas applications is based on the thermodynamic irreversibility rate or useful power no longer available as a result of heat exchanger frictional pressure drops and stream-to-stream temperature differences. The irreversibility (entropy production) concept establishes a direct relationship between the heat exchanger design parameters and the useful power wasted due to heat exchanger nonideality. The paper presents a heat exchanger design method for fixed or for minimum irreversibility (number of entropy generation units N S ). In contrast with traditional design procedures, the amount of heat transferred between streams and the pumping power for each side become outputs of the NS design approach. To illustrate the use of this method, the paper develops the design of regenerative heat exchangers with minimum heat transfer surface and with fixed irreversibility NS .

Copyright © 1977 by ASME
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