# Heat transfer

This figure shows a calculation for thermal convection in the Earth's mantle. Colors closer to red are hot areas and colors closer to blue are cold areas. A hot, less-dense lower boundary layer sends plumes of hot material upwards, and likewise, cold material from the top moves downwards.

Heat transfer describes the exchange of thermal energy, between physical systems depending on the temperature and pressure, by dissipating heat. The fundamental modes of heat transfer are conduction or diffusion, convection and radiation.

The exchange of kinetic energy of particles through the boundary between two systems which are at different temperatures from each other or from their surroundings. Heat transfer always occurs from a region of high temperature to another region of lower temperature. Heat transfer changes the internal energy of both systems involved according to the First Law of Thermodynamics.[1] The Second Law of Thermodynamics defines the concept of thermodynamic entropy, by measurable heat transfer.

Thermal equilibrium is reached when all involved bodies and the surroundings reach the same temperature. Thermal expansion is the tendency of matter to change in volume in response to a change in temperature.[2]

## Overview

Earth's longwave thermal radiation intensity, from clouds, atmosphere and surface.

Heat is defined in physics as the transfer of thermal energy across a well-defined boundary around a thermodynamic system. The thermodynamic free energy is the amount of work that a thermodynamic system can perform. Enthalpy is a thermodynamic potential, designated by the letter "H", that is the sum of the internal energy of the system (U) plus the product of pressure (P) and volume (V). Joule is a unit to quantify energy, work, or the amount of heat.

Heat transfer is a process function (or path function), as opposed to functions of state; therefore, the amount of heat transferred in a thermodynamic process that changes the state of a system depends on how that process occurs, not only the net difference between the initial and final states of the process.

Thermodynamic and mechanical heat transfer is calculated with the heat transfer coefficient, the proportionality between the heat flux and the thermodynamic driving force for the flow of heat. Heat flux is a quantitative, vectorial representation of the heat flow through a surface.[3]

In engineering contexts, the term heat is taken as synonymous to thermal energy. This usage has its origin in the historical interpretation of heat as a fluid (caloric) that can be transferred by various causes,[4] and that is also common in the language of laymen and everyday life.

The transport equations for thermal energy (Fourier's law), mechanical momentum (Newton's law for fluids), and mass transfer (Fick's laws of diffusion) are similar,[5][6] and analogies among these three transport processes have been developed to facilitate prediction of conversion from any one to the others.[6]

Thermal engineering concerns the generation, use, conversion, and exchange of heat transfer. As such, heat transfer is involved in almost every sector of the economy.[7] Heat transfer is classified into various mechanisms, such as thermal conduction, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and transfer of energy by phase changes.

## Mechanisms

The fundamental modes of heat transfer are:

Advection is the transport mechanism of a fluid substance or conserved property from one location to another, depending on motion and momentum.
Conduction or diffusion
The transfer of energy between objects that are in physical contact. Thermal conductivity is the property of a material to conduct heat and evaluated primarily in terms of Fourier's Law for heat conduction.
Convection
The transfer of energy between an object and its environment, due to fluid motion. The average temperature, is a reference for evaluating properties related to convective heat transfer.
The transfer of energy from the movement of charged particles within atoms is converted to electromagnetic radiation.

By transferring matter, energy—including thermal energy—is moved by the physical transfer of a hot or cold object from one place to another.[8] This can be as simple as placing hot water in a bottle and heating a bed, or the movement of an iceberg in changing ocean currents. A practical example is thermal hydraulics.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} This can be described by the formula: ${\displaystyle Q=v\cdot \rho \cdot c_{p}\cdot \Delta T}$ where Q is heat flux (W/m²), ρ is density (kg/m³), c_p is heat capacity at constant pressure (J/(kg*K)), ΔT is the change in temperature (K), v is velocity (m/s). ### Conduction {{#invoke:main|main}} On a microscopic scale, heat conduction occurs as hot, rapidly moving or vibrating atoms and molecules interact with neighboring atoms and molecules, transferring some of their energy (heat) to these neighboring particles. In other words, heat is transferred by conduction when adjacent atoms vibrate against one another, or as electrons move from one atom to another. Conduction is the most significant means of heat transfer within a solid or between solid objects in thermal contact. Fluids—especially gases—are less conductive. Thermal contact conductance is the study of heat conduction between solid bodies in contact.[9] Steady state conduction (see Fourier's law) is a form of conduction that happens when the temperature difference driving the conduction is constant, so that after an equilibration time, the spatial distribution of temperatures in the conducting object does not change any further.[10] In steady state conduction, the amount of heat entering a section is equal to amount of heat coming out.[9] Transient conduction (see Heat equation) occurs when the temperature within an object changes as a function of time. Analysis of transient systems is more complex and often calls for the application of approximation theories or numerical analysis by computer.[9] ### Convection {{#invoke:main|main}} The flow of fluid may be forced by external processes, or sometimes (in gravitational fields) by buoyancy forces caused when thermal energy expands the fluid (for example in a fire plume), thus influencing its own transfer. The latter process is often called "natural convection". All convective processes also move heat partly by diffusion, as well. Another form of convection is forced convection. In this case the fluid is forced to flow by use of a pump, fan or other mechanical means. Convective heat transfer, or convection, is the transfer of heat from one place to another by the movement of fluids, a process that is essentially the transfer of heat via mass transfer. Bulk motion of fluid enhances heat transfer in many physical situations, such as (for example) between a solid surface and the fluid.[11] Convection is usually the dominant form of heat transfer in liquids and gases. Although sometimes discussed as a third method of heat transfer, convection is usually used to describe the combined effects of heat conduction within the fluid (diffusion) and heat transference by bulk fluid flow streaming.[12] The process of transport by fluid streaming is known as advection, but pure advection is a term that is generally associated only with mass transport in fluids, such as advection of pebbles in a river. In the case of heat transfer in fluids, where transport by advection in a fluid is always also accompanied by transport via heat diffusion (also known as heat conduction) the process of heat convection is understood to refer to the sum of heat transport by advection and diffusion/conduction. Free, or natural, convection occurs when bulk fluid motions (streams and currents) are caused by buoyancy forces that result from density variations due to variations of temperature in the fluid. Forced convection is a term used when the streams and currents in the fluid are induced by external means—such as fans, stirrers, and pumps—creating an artificially induced convection current.[13] #### Convection-cooling {{#invoke:see also|seealso}} Convective cooling is sometimes described as Newton's law of cooling: The rate of heat loss of a body is proportional to the temperature difference between the body and its surroundings. However, by definition, the validity of Newton's law of cooling requires that the rate of heat loss from convection be a linear function of ("proportional to") the temperature difference that drives heat transfer, and in convective cooling this is sometimes not the case. In general, convection is not linearly dependent on temperature gradients, and in some cases is strongly nonlinear. In these cases, Newton's law does not apply. ### Convection vs. conduction In a body of fluid that is heated from underneath its container, conduction and convection can be considered to compete for dominance. If heat conduction is too great, fluid moving down by convection is heated by conduction so fast that its downward movement will be stopped due to its buoyancy, while fluid moving up by convection is cooled by conduction so fast that its driving buoyancy will diminish. On the other hand, if heat conduction is very low, a large temperature gradient may be formed and convection might be very strong. The Rayleigh number (${\displaystyle Ra}$) is a measure determining the relative strength of conduction and convection.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

${\displaystyle Ra={\frac {g\Delta \rho L^{3}}{\mu \alpha }}={\frac {g\beta \Delta TL^{3}}{\nu \alpha }}}$

where

The Rayleigh number can be understood as the ratio between the rate of heat transfer by convection to the rate of heat transfer by conduction; or, equivalently, the ratio between the corresponding timescales (i.e. conduction timescale divided by convection timescale), up to a numerical factor. This can be seen as follows, where all calculations are up to numerical factors depending on the geometry of the system.

## Phase transition

Lightning is a highly visible form of energy transfer and is an example of plasma present at Earth's surface. Typically, lightning discharges 30,000 amperes at up to 100 million volts, and emits light, radio waves, X-rays and even gamma rays.[18] Plasma temperatures in lightning can approach 28,000 Kelvin (27,726.85 °C) (49,940.33 °F) and electron densities may exceed 1024 m−3.

Phase transition or phase change, takes place in a thermodynamic system from one phase or state of matter to another one by heat transfer. Phase change examples are the melting of ice or the boiling of water. The Mason equation explains the growth of a water droplet based on the effects of heat transport on evaporation and condensation.

Types of phase transition occurring in the four fundamental states of matter, include:

### Boiling

{{#invoke:main|main}}

Nucleate boiling of water.

The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the pressure surrounding the liquid[19][20] and the liquid evaporates resulting in an abrupt change in vapor volume.

Saturation temperature means boiling point. The saturation temperature is the temperature for a corresponding saturation pressure at which a liquid boils into its vapor phase. The liquid can be said to be saturated with thermal energy. Any addition of thermal energy results in a phase transition.

At low temperatures, no boiling occurs and the heat transfer rate is controlled by the usual single-phase mechanisms. As the surface temperature is increased, local boiling occurs and vapor bubbles nucleate, grow into the surrounding cooler fluid, and collapse. This is sub-cooled nucleate boiling, and is a very efficient heat transfer mechanism. At high bubble generation rates, the bubbles begin to interfere and the heat flux no longer increases rapidly with surface temperature (this is the departure from nucleate boiling, or DNB).

At high temperatures, the hydrodynamically-quieter regime of film boiling is reached. Heat fluxes across the stable vapor layers are low, but rise slowly with temperature. Any contact between fluid and the surface that may be seen probably leads to the extremely rapid nucleation of a fresh vapor layer ("spontaneous nucleation"). At higher temperatures still, a maximum in the heat flux is reached (the critical heat flux, or CHF).

The Leidenfrost Effect demonstrates how nucleate boiling slows heat transfer due to gas bubbles on the heater's surface. As mentioned, gas-phase thermal conductivity is much lower than liquid-phase thermal conductivity, so the outcome is a kind of "gas thermal barrier".

## Engineering

Heat exposure as part of a fire test for firestop products

### Devices

Heat engine diagram

{{#invoke:main|main}} A heat exchanger is used for more efficient heat transfer or to dissipate heat. Heat exchangers are widely used in refrigeration, air conditioning, space heating, power generation, and chemical processing. One common example of a heat exchanger is a car's radiator, in which the hot coolant fluid is cooled by the flow of air over the radiator's surface.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} Common types of heat exchanger flows include parallel flow, counter flow, and cross flow. In parallel flow, both fluids move in the same direction while transferring heat; in counter flow, the fluids move in opposite directions; and in cross flow, the fluids move at right angles to each other. Common constructions for heat exchanger include shell and tube, double pipe, extruded finned pipe, spiral fin pipe, u-tube, and stacked plate.Template:Elucidate A heat sink is a component that transfers heat generated within a solid material to a fluid medium, such as air or a liquid. Examples of heat sinks are the heat exchangers used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems or the radiator in a car. A heat pipe is another heat-transfer device that combines thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently transfer heat between two solid interfaces. ## Examples ### Architecture Efficient energy use is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required in heating or cooling. In architecture, condensation and air currents can cause cosmetic or structural damage. An energy audit, can help to assess the implementation of recommended corrective procedures. For instance, insulation improvements, air sealing of structural leaks or the addition of energy-efficient windows and doors.[24] • Smart meter is a device that records electric energy consumption in intervals. • Thermal transmittance is the rate of transfer of heat through a structure divided by the difference in temperature across the structure. It is expressed in watts per square meter per kelvin, or W/m²K. Well-insulated parts of a building have a low thermal transmittance, whereas poorly-insulated parts of a building have a high thermal transmittance. • Thermostat is a device to monitor and control temperature. ### Climate engineering {{#invoke:see also|seealso}} An example application in climate engineering includes the creation of Biochar through the pyrolysis process. Thus, storing greenhouse gases in carbon reduces the radiative forcing capacity in the atmosphere, causing more long-wave (infrared) radiation out to Space. Climate engineering consist of carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management. Since the amount of carbon dioxide determines the radiative balance of Earth atmosphere, carbon dioxide removal techniques can be applied to reduce the radiative forcing. Solar radiation management is the attempt to absorb less solar radiation to offset the effects of greenhouse gases. ### Greenhouse effect A representation of the exchanges of energy between the source (the Sun), the Earth's surface, the Earth's atmosphere, and the ultimate sink outer space. The ability of the atmosphere to capture and recycle energy emitted by the Earth surface is the defining characteristic of the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface and the lower atmosphere, it results in an elevation of the average surface temperature above what it would be in the absence of the gases. ### Heat transfer in the human body {{#invoke:see also|seealso}} The principles of heat transfer in engineering systems can be applied to the human body in order to determine how the body transfers heat. Heat is produced in the body by the continuous metabolism of nutrients which provides energy for the systems of the body.[25] The human body must maintain a consistent internal temperature in order to maintain healthy bodily functions. Therefore, excess heat must be dissipated from the body to keep it from overheating. When a person engages in elevated levels of physical activity, the body requires additional fuel which increases the metabolic rate and the rate of heat production. The body must then use additional methods to remove the additional heat produced in order to keep the internal temperature at a healthy level. Heat transfer by convection is driven by the movement of fluids over the surface of the body. This convective fluid can be either a liquid or a gas. For heat transfer from the outer surface of the body, the convection mechanism is dependent on the surface area of the body, the velocity of the air, and the temperature gradient between the surface of the skin and the ambient air.[26] The normal temperature of the body is approximately 37°C. Heat transfer occurs more readily when the temperature of the surroundings is significantly less than the normal body temperature. This concept explains why a person feels “cold” when not enough covering is worn when exposed to a cold environment. Clothing can be considered an insulator which provides thermal resistance to heat flow over the covered portion of the body.[27] This thermal resistance causes the temperature on the surface of the clothing to be less than the temperature on the surface of the skin. This smaller temperature gradient between the surface temperature and the ambient temperature will cause a lower rate of heat transfer than if the skin were not covered. In order to ensure that one portion of the body is not significantly hotter than another portion, heat must be distributed evenly through the bodily tissues. Blood flowing through blood vessels acts as a convective fluid and helps to prevent any buildup of excess heat inside the tissues of the body. This flow of blood through the vessels can be modeled as pipe flow in an engineering system. The heat carried by the blood is determined by the temperature of the surrounding tissue, the diameter of the blood vessel, the thickness of the fluid, velocity of the flow, and the heat transfer coefficient of the blood. The velocity, blood vessel diameter, and the fluid thickness can all be related with the Reynolds Number, a dimensionless number used in fluid mechanics to characterize the flow of fluids. Latent heat loss, also known as evaporative heat loss, accounts for a large fraction of heat loss from the body. When the core temperature of the body increases, the body triggers sweat glands in the skin to bring additional moisture to the surface of the skin. The liquid is then transformed into vapor which removes heat from the surface of the body.[28] The rate of evaporation heat loss is directly related to the vapor pressure at the skin surface and the amount of moisture present on the skin.[26] Therefore, the maximum of heat transfer will occur when the skin is completely wet. The body continuously loses water by evaporation but the most significant amount of heat loss occurs during periods of increased physical activity. ### Cooling techniques #### Evaporative cooling A traditional air cooler in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, India Evaporative cooling happens when water vapor is added to the surrounding air. The energy needed to evaporate the water is taken from the air in the form of sensible heat and converted into latent heat, while the air remains at a constant enthalpy. Latent heat describes the amount of heat that is needed to evaporate the liquid; this heat comes from the liquid itself and the surrounding gas and surfaces. The greater the difference between the two temperatures, the greater the evaporative cooling effect. When the temperatures are the same, no net evaporation of water in air occurs; thus, there is no cooling effect. #### Laser cooling In Quantum Physics laser cooling is used to achieve temperatures of near absolute zero (−273.15°C, −459.67°F) of atomic and molecular samples, to observe unique quantum effects that can only occur at this heat level. • Doppler cooling is the most common method of laser cooling. • Sympathetic cooling is a process in which particles of one type cool particles of another type. Typically, atomic ions that can be directly laser-cooled are used to cool nearby ions or atoms. This technique allows cooling of ions and atoms that cannot be laser cooled directly.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B=

{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

#### Magnetic cooling

{{#invoke:main|main}} Magnetic evaporative cooling is a process for lowering the temperature of a group of atoms, after pre-cooled by methods such as laser cooling. Magnetic refrigeration cools below 0.3K, by making use of the magnetocaloric effect.

Radiative cooling is the process by which a body loses heat by radiation. Outgoing energy is an important effect in the Earth's energy budget. In the case of the Earth-atmosphere system, it refers to the process by which long-wave (infrared) radiation is emitted to balance the absorption of short-wave (visible) energy from the Sun. Convective transport of heat and evaporative transport of latent heat both remove heat from the surface and redistribute it in the atmosphere.

### Thermal energy storage

Thermal energy storage refers to technologies used to collect and store energy for later use. They can be employed to balance energy demand between day and nighttime. The thermal reservoir may be maintained at a temperature above (hotter) or below (colder) than that of the ambient environment. Applications include later use in space heating, domestic or process hot water, or to generate electricity.

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