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Heat transfer enhancement with nanofluids

Özerinç, Sezer
A nanofluid is the suspension of nanoparticles in a base fluid. Nanofluids are promising for heat transfer enhancement due to their high thermal conductivity. Presently, discrepancy exists in nanofluid thermal conductivity data in the literature, and enhancement mechanisms have not been fully understood yet. In the first part of this study, a literature review of nanofluid thermal conductivity is performed. Experimental studies are discussed through the effects of some parameters such as particle volume fraction, particle size, and temperature on conductivity. Enhancement mechanisms of conductivity are summarized, theoretical models are explained, model predictions are compared with experimental data, and discrepancies are indicated. Nanofluid forced convection research is important for practical application of nanofluids. Recent experiments showed that nanofluid heat transfer enhancement exceeds the associated thermal conductivity enhancement, which might be explained by thermal dispersion, which occurs due to random motion of nanoparticles. In the second part of the study, to examine the validity of a thermal dispersion model, hydrodynamically developed, thermally developing laminar Al2O3/water nanofluid flow inside a circular tube under constant wall temperature and heat flux boundary conditions is analyzed by using finite difference method with Alternating Direction Implicit Scheme. Numerical results are compared with experimental and numerical data in the literature and good agreement is observed especially with experimental data, which indicates the validity of the thermal dispersion model for explaining nanofluid heat transfer. Additionally, a theoretical analysis is performed, which shows that usage of classical correlations for heat transfer analysis of nanofluids is not valid.