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I’m a chemical engineering student and I’m learning about heat exchangers,I came across this question and had a doubt ,

Cold water is heated from 20 degree C to 85 degree C while hot process stream is cooled from 130 to 55. Overall heat transfer coefficient is $348 W/m^2 . DegreesC$ .

Surface area of each tube is 0.092$m^2$ , how many tubes would be required to construct this heat exchanger ?

Rate of heat transfer = 165800W

I calculated LMTD = 39.79

And I calculated the area , which is about 11.97$m^2$

Number of tubes = $11.97/0.092 = 130.4$ tubes.

In this case, I need 130.4 tubes . Do I round up to 131 or round down to 130? and why ?

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In this situation I suggest you round up - as rounding down means that the number of tubes is not sufficient.

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