Heat Exchanger Performance Calculation & Formula

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Fin Efficiency and Fin Effectiveness

Fins or extended surfaces increase the heat transfer area and consequently, the amount of heat transfer is increased. The temperature at the root or base of the fin is the highest and the temperature along the length of the fin goes on decreasing Thus, the fin would dissipate the maximum amount of heat energy if the temperature all along the length remains equal to the temperature at the root. Thus, the fin efficiency is defined as:

ηfin = (actual heat transferred) / (heat which would be transferred if the entire fin area were at the root temperature)

In some cases, the performance of the extended surfaces is evaluated by comparing the heat transferred with the fin to the heat transferred without the fin. This ratio is called ‘fin effectiveness’ E and it should be greater than 1, if the rate of heat transfer has to be increased with the use of fins.

For a very long fin, effectiveness:





i.e., effectiveness increases by increasing the length of the fin but it will decrease the fin efficiency.

Expressions for Fin Efficiency for Fins of Uniform Cross-section:

Very long fins: image005

For fins having insulated tips



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