Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 702-703


Latent Heat of Condensation

  • Prem DattAffiliated withResearch & Design Center (RDC), Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment Email author 

The condensation is the opposite process of evaporation. Latent heat of condensation is energy released when water vapor condenses to form liquid droplets. The latent heat of condensation is defined as the heat released when one mole of the substance condenses. The temperature does not change during this process, so heat released goes directly into changing the state of the substance. It is expressed as kg/mol or kJ/kg. The energy released in this process is called heat of condensation. The heat of condensation of water is about 2,260 kJ/kg, which is equal to 40.8 kJ/mol. The heat of condensation is numerically exactly equal to the heat vaporization, but has the opposite sign. In the case of evaporation, the energy is absorbed by the substance, whereas in condensation heat is released by the substance. For example, as moist air is lifted and cooled, water vapor eventually condenses, which then allows for huge amounts of latent heat energy to be released, feeding the storm.

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