A simple relation is established between the thermal effectiveness of two heat exchanger configurations that differ from each other in the inversion of either one of the two fluids. Using this relation, if the expression for the effectiveness of a configuration, as a function of the heat capacity rate ratio, and the number of heat transfer units, is known, the corresponding expression for the “inverse” configuration is immediately obtained. The relation is valid under the assumptions of temperature independence of the heat transfer coefficient and heat capacity rates, when one of the fluids proceeds through the exchanger in a single, mixed stream. The property is illustrated with several examples from the available literature.

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