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Performance evaluation on an air-cooled heat exchanger for alumina nanofluid under laminar flow

Tun-Ping Teng1*, Yi-Hsuan Hung1, Tun-Chien Teng2 and Jyun-Hong Chen1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Industrial Education, National Taiwan Normal University, No. 162, Section 1, He-ping East Road, Da-an District, Taipei City 10610, Taiwan, Republic of China

2 Department of Mechatronic Technology, National Taiwan Normal University, No. 162, Section 1, He-ping Eeast Road, Da-an District, Taipei City 10610, Taiwan, Republic of China

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:488  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-488

Published: 9 August 2011

Abstract

This study analyzes the characteristics of alumina (Al2O3)/water nanofluid to determine the feasibility of its application in an air-cooled heat exchanger for heat dissipation for PEMFC or electronic chip cooling. The experimental sample was Al2O3/water nanofluid produced by the direct synthesis method at three different concentrations (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 wt.%). The experiments in this study measured the thermal conductivity and viscosity of nanofluid with weight fractions and sample temperatures (20-60°C), and then used the nanofluid in an actual air-cooled heat exchanger to assess its heat exchange capacity and pressure drop under laminar flow. Experimental results show that the nanofluid has a higher heat exchange capacity than water, and a higher concentration of nanoparticles provides an even better ratio of the heat exchange. The maximum enhanced ratio of heat exchange and pressure drop for all the experimental parameters in this study was about 39% and 5.6%, respectively. In addition to nanoparticle concentration, the temperature and mass flow rates of the working fluid can affect the enhanced ratio of heat exchange and pressure drop of nanofluid. The cross-section aspect ratio of tube in the heat exchanger is another important factor to be taken into consideration.

Keywords:
alumina (Al2O3); heat exchange capacity; laminar flow; nanofluid; pressure drop