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Microcomputer spreadsheets were developed primarily to give accountants a powerful tool for solving and analyzing financial problems. Engineers are beginning to realize that spreadsheets can also be used to solve some engineering problems without the need to write complicated FORTRAN or BASIC programs.

This paper summarizes the use of spreadsheets to solve several heat conduction problems relevant to HVAC applications. The problems are solved on a spreadsheet using finite difference techniques. Three finite difference techniques are illustrated: (1) one-dimensional steady-state conduction in fin, (2) one-dimensional transient conduction in a wall using the explicit solution method, and (3) one-dimensional transient conduction in a wall using the implicit method. Sample calculations are provided to illustrate how spreadsheets can be used to solve these problems.

Units: I-P