Last Updated: 3/26/2019

Free Excel/VBA Spreadsheets for Heat Transfer

(Fluid Mechanics, PDE's, Thermodynamics and Numerical Methods, too)


Usage, Disclaimer, Notes

Two-Dimensional, Steady-State Conduction (Updated: 3/6/2018)

This workbook evaluates the analytical solution for steady-state conduction in a unit square with one boundary held at a different temperature than the other three and returns a raised contour plot of the results. This particular problem is used frequently to demonstrate separation-of-variables as a solution technique for PDE's. The user can change the number of terms to be included in the evaluation of the infinite series. A new, second worksheet (See below) animates the process of adding terms to the series. Quite a few are needed in this particular problem to get a good solution here - because of the discontinuity at two of the corners and the animation shows the Gibbs phenomenon clearly.   This workbook was updated in April 2013 to work better in more recent editions of Excel.

Periodic Conduction in a Semi-Infinite Body (Updated: 3/6/2018)

This one "animates" the analytical solution for transient conduction in a semi-infinite body subject to a periodically varying temperature at the exposed face. The input parameters used for the plot shown correspond to the annual temperature cycle in the ground (about 3x10E7 seconds), but may be readily changed.

Planck's Law (Updated: 3/13/2018)

This workbook computes and displays the spectral blackbody emissive power for a number of source temperatures. This new version also allows the user to display the spectral blackbody emissive power for a particular temperature and evaluates the integral over a wavelength range selected by the user (replicating the tabulated blackbody radiation functions). (See the cyan-colored lines in the figure below.) Another sheet is this workbook includes tabulated data for the spectral transmissivity of two types of glass, one of them a standard glass, the other a "low-E" (low-emissivity) glass. The function for blackbody emissive power, this tabulated data and Simpson's Rule may be used to find the total transmissivity of the two glasses.   This new version has been updated to run better in newer versions of Excel.


Radiation View Factors (Updated: 12/4/2018)


Air-Water Properties (Updated: 3/2/2018)

Five state and transport properties of air and seven of water, all of which are functions of temperature, are included in this module. These user-defined functions may be invoked in a worksheet exactly as are the supplied functions (sine, cosine, sum, etc.) and allow the design engineer to do multiple calculations readily without cumbersome table lookups. These functions were developed for use in the Sweaty Runner and Lister Bag projects. A discussion of the former project assignment may be found in: Ribando, R.J. and Galbis-Reig, V., "Convective Heat and Mass Transfer from a Runner Using Some Modern Spreadsheet Features," Computers in Education Journal, Vol. VIII, No. 4, Oct. - Dec. 1998, pp. 22-28.

As with all items in the HTT software collection, the user is urged to verify the accuracy of these property functions before using them. The NIST Chemistry WebBook is an excellent resource.

Solution of Blasius Equation (Updated: 3/2/2018)

Internal-Flow Convection Correlations (Updated: 3/7/2018)

This workbook computes the Nusselt number for forced convection in a circular pipe as a function of the Reynolds (based on diameter) and Prandtl numbers (and where appropriate one or two other parameters). It includes subroutines for laminar, transition and turbulent flows, and for liquid metals. Results for a range of Reynolds and Prandtl numbers are show in this plot. This spreadsheet was developed to aid in verifying our internal flow module

Iteration Demonstrations (Updated: 2/22/2018)

This workbook includes three separate demonstrations of Gauss-Seidel (Liebmann) iteration for the solution of systems of linear equations. The first one, shown in the figure, demonstrates using G-S to solve the system of linear equations arising from the finite-difference discretization of Laplace's equation in 2-D. Another shows application of the Scarborough criterion to a set of two linear equations. The third shows the application of G-S in one-dimension and highlights the difficulty of applying pointwise iterative methods to large systems. The first and third demonstrations are animated.

Advection of a Passive Scalar in One and Two Dimensions (Updated: 3/20/2018)


Projectile Motion with Air Resistance (Updated: 3/14/2018)

Elliptic Grid Generation (Updated: 3/20/2018)

One-Dimensional Compressible Flows (Updated: 3/14/2018)

This first workbook includes worksheets for: (1) Isentropic flow with area change, (2) Normal shock functions, (3) Flow with friction (Fanno Line), and (4) Flow with heat addition (Rayleigh Line). Results are given in both tabular and graphical form and the functions used may be used in other calculations. A user form allows you to input derived quantities, e.g., the ratio of static to stagnation temperature, Mach number after a shock, etc., and find the Mach number.

The second workbook is for oblique, planar shocks.  The user will have to become familiar with Excel’s Solver Add-in in order to use this workbook.

Vortex Panel Method (Updated: 3/6/2018)

This workbook implements the vortex panel method for a lifting airfoil.   It closely follows the algorithm in Kuethe and Chow (1986).


Vortex Motion above a Runway (Updated: 3/6/2018)

1976 U.S. Standard Atmosphere (Updated: 3/20/2018)

One-dimensional Wave Equation (Updated: 4/3/2018)


Velocity Triangles for Turbomachinery (New 6/4/2018)


Solution of Linear Equations (Updated: 2/22/2018)

The first part of this spreadsheet is an exact implementation of the procedure discussed on page 155 of Engineering with Excel, 2nd Edition, by Ronald W. Larsen, Prentice-Hall E-Source (2005). A 3x3 system of linear equations is solved using the Excel MINVERSE function for the inverse of a matrix. The second part uses a home-made VBA subroutine to accomplish the same thing.


Brayton Cycle Gas Turbine Cycle Template (Updated 3/22/2018) – with sound and regeneration!


Rankine Cycle Steam Turbine Cycle Template (Updated 3/22/2018)


Otto Cycle Spark-ignition, Internal Combustion Engine Template (Updated 3/27/2018) – with round sound!


Diesel Cycle Compression-ignition, Internal Combustion Engine Template (Updated 3/15/2018)



Vapor Compression Refrigeration Cycle   Reverse of Rankine Cycle – used for refrigeration.  (New 4/2/2018)




HTTdemosub.xlsm A spreadsheet demonstrating a lot of features of Excel and VBA (Updated 3/7/2018)


        This one includes buttons, scrollbars, functions, subroutines, named ranges and even narration.




General Reference on Use of VBA with Excel (VBAPrimer.pdf) – Updated 6/4/2018:

Ribando, R.J., "An Excel/Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Primer," Computers in Education Journal, Vol. VIII, No. 2, April-June 1998, pp. 38-43. A version of this article updated for Excel 2007 and newer may be found here.


Greeting Cards  Excel/VBA Greeting Cards for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Groundhog Day


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