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Heat exchanger has increased immensely from the viewpoint of energy conservation, conversion, recovery, and successful implementation of new energy sources. Its importance is also increasing from the stand-point of environmental concerns such as thermal pollution, air pollution, water pollution, and waste disposal. Heat exchangers are used in the process, power, transportation, air-conditioning and refrigeration, cryogenic, heat recovery; alternate fuels, and manufacturing industries, as well as being key components of many industrial products available in the marketplace.

The heat exchanger design equation can be used to calculate the required heat transfer surface area for a variety of specified fluids, inlet and outlet temperatures and types and configurations of heat exchangers, including counterflow or parallel flow. A value is needed for the overall heat transfer coefficient for the given heat exchanger, fluids, and temperatures. Heat exchanger calculations could be made for the required heat transfer area, or the rate of heat transfer for a heat exchanger of given area.