electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)
Multilayered, counterflow, parallel-plate heat exchangers are analyzed numerically and theoretically. The analysis, carried out for constant property fluids, considers a hydrodynamically developed laminar flow and neglects longitudinal conduction both in the fluid and in the plates. The solution for the temperature field involves eigenfunction expansions that can be solved in terms of Whittaker functions using standard symbolic algebra packages, leading to analytical expressions that provide the eigenvalues numerically. It is seen that the approximate solution obtained by retaining the first two modes in the eigenfunction expansion provides an accurate representation for the temperature away from the entrance regions, specially for long heat exchangers, thereby enabling simplified expressions for the wall and bulk temperatures, local heat-transfer rate, overall heat-transfer coefficient, and outlet bulk temperatures. The agreement between the numerical and theoretical results suggests the possibility of using the analytical solutions presented herein as benchmark problems for computational heat-transfer codes.