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Infrared thermometry study of nanofluid pool boiling phenomena

Craig Gerardi3, Jacopo Buongiorno1*, Lin-wen Hu2 and Thomas McKrell1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

2 Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

3 Argonne National Laboratory, Nuclear Engineering Division, 9700 S. Cass Ave., Argonne, IL 60439 USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:232  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-232

Published: 16 March 2011

Abstract

Infrared thermometry was used to obtain first-of-a-kind, time- and space-resolved data for pool boiling phenomena in water-based nanofluids with diamond and silica nanoparticles at low concentration (<0.1 vol.%). In addition to macroscopic parameters like the average heat transfer coefficient and critical heat flux [CHF] value, more fundamental parameters such as the bubble departure diameter and frequency, growth and wait times, and nucleation site density [NSD] were directly measured for a thin, resistively heated, indium-tin-oxide surface deposited onto a sapphire substrate. Consistent with other nanofluid studies, the nanoparticles caused deterioration in the nucleate boiling heat transfer (by as much as 50%) and an increase in the CHF (by as much as 100%). The bubble departure frequency and NSD were found to be lower in nanofluids compared with water for the same wall superheat. Furthermore, it was found that a porous layer of nanoparticles built up on the heater surface during nucleate boiling, which improved surface wettability compared with the water-boiled surfaces. Using the prevalent nucleate boiling models, it was possible to correlate this improved surface wettability to the experimentally observed reductions in the bubble departure frequency, NSD, and ultimately to the deterioration in the nucleate boiling heat transfer and the CHF enhancement.