Turbulent heat transfer and fluid flow of alumina nanofluid inside three-lobed twisted tube

  • Mohamad Omidi
  • A. Ali Rabienataj DarziEmail author
  • Mousa Farhadi


Turbulent flow characteristics and heat transfer applications of a twisted heat exchanger with 3-lobed cross section along with Y-tape insert are numerically studied. The working fluids for the simulations are pure water and water–Al2O3 nanofluid using two-phase mixture model. The study is carried out for various nanofluid volume fractions of 0.01, 0.02 and 0.03 with Reynolds number in the range of 5000–20,000. The effect of nanoparticles in heat transfer augmentation for smooth and lobed tubes is discussed based on presenting the highest thermal performance, which is a relation between heat transfer rate and pressure loss. Results show that implementing the twisted tube with Y-tape insert enhances the heat transfer more than the twisted tube. Relative Nusselt numbers for twisted tubes decrease with Reynolds number in comparison with the plain tube. Turbulent intensity, swirl number and tangential velocity of twisted tube with insert are higher than empty twisted tube indicating that inserting the Y-tape intensifies the turbulence and disturbs the fluid flow further. On the other hand, although the twisted tube increases the pressure drop more than plain tube, the case with Y-tape drastically increases the friction factor. So, the thermal performance of twisted tube with insert is lower than empty twisted tube. Adding nanoparticles to the base fluid has different influence on the investigated cases. It augments the relative Nusselt number inside plain tube and empty twisted tube with slight increment in friction factor. Increasing the nanoparticles concentration enhances the heat transfer rates for these cases while it does not increase the relative Nusselt number inside twisted tube with Y-tape insert at high Reynolds number and nanoparticle concentration. Moreover, it can be found that twisted tube with or without Y-tape insert is more efficient at low Reynolds number in comparison with the plain tube.


Turbulent heat transfer Lobed tube Y-tape insert Swirling flow Nanofluid 

List of symbols


Thermal capacity (kJ kg−1 K−1)


Tube diameter (m)


Thermal conductivity of fluid (W mK−1)


Reynolds number \(\left( { = \frac{uD}{\nu }} \right)\)


Nusselt number (hD k−1)


Prandtl number \(\left( { = \frac{{\mu C_{\text{p}} }}{k}} \right)\)


Friction factor coefficient \(\left( { = \frac{2d}{L}\frac{\Delta P}{{\rho u^{2} }}} \right)\)


Nanoparticle diameter


Temperature (K)


Velocity (m s−1)

\(\Delta P\)

Pressure difference


Lobe number

Greek symbols


Volume fraction of nanoparticles


Dynamic viscosity (kg m−1 s−1)


Kinematic viscosity (m2 s−1)


Density of the fluid



Base fluid











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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamad Omidi
    • 1
  • A. Ali Rabienataj Darzi
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mousa Farhadi
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringBabol University of TechnologyBabolIran
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MazandaranBabolsarIran

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