The LMTD is a logarithmic average of the temperature difference between the hot and cold fluid streams at each end of the heat exchanger. The larger the value of LMTD, the higher heat is transferred.
The rate of heat transfer can be expressed as q = UAΔTm
∆T2 = Thot,out – Tcold,out
∆T2 = Thot,out – Tcold,in
Assumptions made in LMTD method:
- The overall heat transfer coefficient (U) is constant throughout the heat energy
- The specific heats (Cp) and mass flow rates of both fluids is constant.
- The flow conditions are steady.
- There is no change of phase either of the fluid during the heat transfer.
- There is no loss of heat to the surroundings, due to heat exchanger being perfectly insulated.
- Axial conduction along the tubes of heat exchanger is negligible.
- The changes in kinetic energy and potential energy are negligible.