Skip to main content

Latent Heat of Condensation

  • Reference work entry
  • First Online:
Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series ((EESS))

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions


  • Armstrong, R. L., and Brun, E., 2008. Snow and Climate: Physical Processes, Surface Energy Exchange and Modeling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85454-2.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, E. R., and Childers, R. L. Contemporary College Physics. Addison Wesley.

    Google Scholar 

  • McClung, D., and Schaerer, P., 1993. The Avalance Hand Book. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers.

    Google Scholar 

  • The international classification for seasonal snow on the ground prepared by the ICSI-UCCS-IACS Working Group on Snow Classification, IHP-VII Technical Documents in Hydrology, IACS Contribution, UNESCO, Paris, 2009.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Prem Datt .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

About this entry

Cite this entry

Datt, P. (2011). Latent Heat of Condensation. In: Singh, V.P., Singh, P., Haritashya, U.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Dordrecht.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics