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A CFD Study of Turbulent Convective Heat Transfer Enhancement in Circular Pipeflow
Addition of milli or micro sized particles to the heat transfer fluid is one of the many techniques employed for improving heat transfer rate. Though this looks simple, this method has practical problems such as high pressure loss, clogging and erosion of the material of construction. These problems can be overcome by using nanofluids, which is a dispersion of nanosized particles in a base fluid. Nanoparticles increase the thermal conductivity of the base fluid manifold which in turn increases the heat transfer rate. Nanoparticles also increase the viscosity of the basefluid resulting in higher pressure drop for the nanofluid compared to the base fluid. So it is imperative that the Reynolds number (Re) and the volume fraction have to be optimum for better thermal hydraulic effectiveness. In this work, the heat transfer enhancement using aluminium oxide nanofluid using low and high volume fraction nanofluids in turbulent pipe flow with constant wall temperature has been studied by computational fluid dynamic modeling of the nanofluid flow adopting the single phase approach. Nanofluid, up till a volume fraction of 1% is found to be an effective heat transfer enhancement technique. The Nusselt number (Nu) and friction factor predictions for the low volume fractions (i.e. 0.02%, 0.1 and 0.5%) agree very well with the experimental values of Sundar and Sharma (2010). While, predictions for the high volume fraction nanofluids (i.e. 1%, 4% and 6%) are found to have reasonable agreement with both experimental and numerical results available in the literature. So the computationally inexpensive single phase approach can be used for heat transfer and pressure drop prediction of new nanofluids.
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