A Review on Thermophysical Properties and Nusselt Number Behavior of Al2O3 Nanofluids in Heat Exchangers

Abstract

During the last several years, the increase in cooling power requirements for heat exchangers have led to an escalation in heat transfer studies being performed on the use of nanofluids as heat transfer fluids. However, limited effort has been attempted to relate and interpret these findings or the anomalies associated with them. The paper compiles test data from several studies conducted on different types of heat exchangers. In this review, a concentrated effort is spent to clarify the ambiguities regarding the effect of nanoparticle size on the nanofluid thermal conductivity and Nusselt number. Results show that the nanofluid thermal conductivity is not influenced by the nanoparticle size, but by the clustering of the particles themselves. The less compact the structure of the nanoparticle clustering is, the greater the enhancement in the nanofluid thermal conductivity is. Data were also compiled to interpret the relation between the nanofluid flow pattern, nanoparticles volume fraction in the base fluid, and the convective heat transfer. The results from the majority of the heat exchanger studies show an increase in the heat transfer coefficient with the increase in nanoparticle volume fraction. However, studies conducted on plate heat exchanges display some inconsistencies. In the majority of the heat exchanger studies with the exception of few, the decrease in the nanoparticle size is shown to result in an enhancement of the bulk fluid Nusselt number. Compiled test data also reveal that the effectiveness of the alumina nanoparticles is dependent on the flow pattern. The increase in the nanoparticles concentration is shown to result in an increase in the nanofluid heat transfer enhancement as the fluid is transitioning from laminar to turbulent flow. In general, the smaller the nanoparticle size is, the greater the enhancement in the fluid Nusselt number is.

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Abbreviations

d :

particle diameter/nm

Nu :

Nusselt number

Re :

Reynolds number

λ :

thermal conductivity/W·m−1·K−1

μ :

dynamic viscosity/Pa·s

ϕ v :

volume fraction ratio/%

nf:

nanofluid

r:

ratio

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Correspondence to Roy Jean Issa.

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Issa, R.J. A Review on Thermophysical Properties and Nusselt Number Behavior of Al2O3 Nanofluids in Heat Exchangers. J. Therm. Sci. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11630-021-1266-1

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Keywords

  • heat exchanger
  • Nusselt number
  • alumina
  • nanofluid