• Performance analysis of three nanofluids in liquid to gas and liquid to liquid heat exchangers

      Ray, Dustin R.; Das, Debendra; Lin, Chuen-Sen; Kim, Sun Woo (2013-12)
      One purpose of this research was to analyze the thermal and fluid dynamic performance of nanofluids in an automotive radiator (liquid to gas). Detailed computations were performed on an automotive radiator using three different nanofluids containing aluminum oxide, copper oxide and silicon dioxide nanoparticles dispersed in the base fluid, 60:40 ethylene glycol and water (EG/W) by mass. The computational scheme adopted was the effectiveness-Number of Transfer Unit (� -- NTU) method encoded in Matlab. The computational scheme was validated by comparing the predicted results with that of the base fluid reported by other researchers. Then, the scheme was adapted to compute the performance of nanofluids. Results show that a dilute 1% volumetric concentration of nanoparticles can have substantial savings in the pumping power or surface area of the heat exchanger, while transferring the same amount of heat as the base fluid. The second purpose of this research was to carry out experimental and theoretical studies for a plate heat exchanger (PHE). A benchmark test was performed with the minichannel PHE to validate the test apparatus with water. Next, using a 0.5% aluminum oxide nanoparticle concentration dispersed in EG/W preliminary correlations for the Nusselt number and the friction factor for nanofluid flow in a PHE were derived. Then, a theoretical study was conducted to compare the performance of three nanofluids comprised of aluminum oxide, copper oxide and silicon dioxide nanoparticles in EG/W. This theoretical analysis was conducted using the � -- NTU method. The operational parameters were set by the active thermal control system currently under design by NASA. The analysis showed that for a dilute particle volumetric concentration of 1%, all the nanofluids showed improvements in their performance over the base fluid by reducing the pumping power and surface area of the PHE.