Giedt, Warren H. Formerly, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis, California.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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- Types of heat convection
- Natural convection
- Forced convection
- Heat-transfer coefficient
- Turbulent flow
- Condensation and boiling
- Additional Readings
The transfer of thermal energy by actual physical movement from one location to another of a substance in which thermal energy is stored. Heat convection is often the primary mode of energy transfer in liquids and gases. A familiar example of convection is the boiling of water in a pot (Fig. 1). Technically, convection denotes the nonradiant heat exchange between a surface and a fluid flowing over it. (The term "fluid" refers to deformable forms of matter, including liquids, gases, and plasmas.) Although heat flow by conduction also occurs in this process, the controlling feature is the energy transfer by flow of the fluid—hence the name convection. Convection is one of the three basic methods of heat transfer, the other two being conduction and radiation. See also: Gas; Fluids; Heat; Heat conduction; Heat radiation; Heat transfer; Liquid; Plasma (physics)
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