Heat exchangers are thermal systems which are used extensively, have a major role in energy conservation aspect and preventing global warming. This paper is based on reviews of scientific work and provides a state-of-the-art review of second law of thermodynamic analysis of heat exchangers. Initially, the basics of heat exchangers are briefly provided along with second law analysis which also includes two-phase flow analysis and thermoeconomic analysis. Following this, detail literature survey based on performance parameters such as entropy generation, exergy analysis, production and manufacturing irreversibilities (cumulative exergy destruction associated with the production of material and manufacturing of component or assembly of components) and two phase fluid loss of heat exchangers is presented including constructal law applied to analyze heat exchangers. Constructal theory along with second law analysis can be used for the systematic design of heat exchangers. This review highlights the importance of first and second law investigations of heat exchangers leading to energy conservation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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