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Entropy 2016, 18(5), 198; doi:10.3390/e18050198

What Exactly is the Nusselt Number in Convective Heat Transfer Problems and are There Alternatives?

Institute for Thermo-Fluid Dynamics, Hamburg University of Technology, 21073 Hamburg, Germany
Academic Editor: Milivoje M. Kostic
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 11 May 2016 / Accepted: 12 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Thermodynamics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1772 KB, uploaded 23 May 2016]   |  


The often used Nusselt number is critically questioned with respect to its physical meaning. Based on a rigorous dimensional analysis, alternative assessment numbers are found that in a systematic way separately account for the quantitative and qualitative aspect of a heat transfer process. The qualitative aspect is related to the entropy generated in the temperature field of a real, irreversible heat transfer. The irreversibility can be quantified by referring it to the so-called entropic potential of the energy involved in the transfer process. View Full-Text
Keywords: dimensional analysis; energy devaluation; entropic potential dimensional analysis; energy devaluation; entropic potential

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Herwig, H. What Exactly is the Nusselt Number in Convective Heat Transfer Problems and are There Alternatives? Entropy 2016, 18, 198.

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