On the Similarity Solution for Condensation Heat Transfer

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Heat Transfer

Document Type



Analytical solutions for laminar film condensation on a vertical plate are integral to many heat transfer applications, and have therefore been presented in numerous refereed articles and in most heat transfer textbooks. Commonly made assumptions achieve the well known similarity solution for the Nusselt number, heat transfer coefficient, and film thickness. Yet in all of these studies, several critical assumptions are made without justifying their use. Consequently, for a given problem one cannot determine whether these restrictive assumptions are actually satisfied, and thus, how these conditions can be checked for validity of the results. This study provides a detailed solution that clarifies these points.

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