The second law aspects of heat transfer by forced convection are illustrated in terms of four fundamental flow configurations: pipe flow, boundary layer over flat plate, single cylinder in cross-flow, flow in the entrance region of a flat rectangular duct. The interplay between irreversibility due to heat transfer along finite temperature gradients and, on the other hand, irreversibility due to viscous effects is analyzed in detail. The spatial distribution of irreversibility, entropy generation profiles or maps, and those flow features acting as strong sources of irreversibility are presented. It is shown how the flow geometric parameters may be selected in order to minimize the irreversibility associated with a specific convective heat transfer process.

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