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Two-phase numerical model for thermal conductivity and convective heat transfer in nanofluids

Sasidhar Kondaraju and Joon Sang Lee*

Author Affiliations

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:239  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-239

Published: 21 March 2011


Due to the numerous applications of nanofluids, investigating and understanding of thermophysical properties of nanofluids has currently become one of the core issues. Although numerous theoretical and numerical models have been developed by previous researchers to understand the mechanism of enhanced heat transfer in nanofluids; to the best of our knowledge these models were limited to the study of either thermal conductivity or convective heat transfer of nanofluids. We have developed a numerical model which can estimate the enhancement in both the thermal conductivity and convective heat transfer in nanofluids. It also aids in understanding the mechanism of heat transfer enhancement. The study reveals that the nanoparticle dispersion in fluid medium and nanoparticle heat transport phenomenon are equally important in enhancement of thermal conductivity. However, the enhancement in convective heat transfer was caused mainly due to the nanoparticle heat transport mechanism. Ability of this model to be able to understand the mechanism of convective heat transfer enhancement distinguishes the model from rest of the available numerical models.